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Alabama State University head football coach Reggie Barlow was elected to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, the conference announced today.
Barlow will be officially inducted on Thursday, December 5 in Houston, Texas at the Westin Hotel Galleria and take part in festivities during SWAC Football Championship Weekend. Joining Barlow in the SWAC Class of 2013 is James ‘Jimmy' Jones (Grambling State), Charles Ruth (Mississippi Valley State), James ‘Jim' Osborne (Southern), Carol V. Cummings (Prairie View A&M), Bob Hopkins (Grambling State) and Richard P. Myles Sr. (Alcorn State).
The official announcement was made Wednesday as Barlow joins some of the greatest players to ever compete in the legendary conference, such as track and field Olympians Rodney Milburn and Willie Davenport, pro football Hall of Famers Mel Blount, Kenny Houston, Walter Payton, Jackie Slater, Jerry Rice and Deacon Jones, and baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock.
"It's a blessing," said a very reflective Barlow, the former Hornet wide receiver who is currently in his seventh season as head coach at his alma mater. "There are a lot of great names who have laid the foundation for the Southwestern Athletic Conference. I'm honored to represent Alabama State as an inductee. All the people who've helped me become the person I am, father I am, the coach that I am - my parents, my brothers, college teammates, coaches, players who have played for me – I'm thankful for all of them and I'm humbled by it."
Barlow will become the 15th inductee to go into the SWAC Hall of Fame as an Alabama State Hornet, joining legends C.J. Dunn, Severne Frazier, John H. Jones, George "Pops" Lockhart, James Garrick Hardy, Charles "Buddy" Spears, Frank Lewis, Jesse White, Norman Walton, William "Bill" Gary, Eddie Robinson Jr., Lewis Jackson, James Oliver, and Horace Crump.
"When you hear names like Lockhart, Robinson, Jackson – these and others who have done the University proud and represented Alabama State in the right way – I'm happy to be a part of that illustrious group," Barlow said. "With its great tradition and heritage and the respect I have for this conference, I'm tickled to death to have this opportunity to join the SWAC Hall of Fame."
As an Alabama State wide receiver (1991-95), Barlow ended his career first in receptions (133) and receiving yards (2,536 yards) and third in touchdowns (17). Barlow currently ranks tied for third, second, and fifth respectively in each category, and still owns the school's single-season record with 1,267 yards, set in 1994.
Barlow was drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, beginning an eight-year career (1996-2003) as a wide receiver and shined as a punt and kickoff returner. During his five seasons with the Jaguars, Barlow led the team in punt returns four straight years, and in kickoff returns twice. Barlow still owns franchise records for punt returns (146), punt returns yards (1,581) and touchdowns (two), and is fourth in kickoff returns (70), third in kickoff return yards (1,634), and tied for second in touchdowns (one). He was named a Pro Bowl alternate following the 1998 season.
Barlow spent one season with the Oakland Raiders, before playing his final two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2002, Barlow was part of the history as the Bucs won Super Bowl 37. In his eight-year career, Barlow amassed more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns.
In 2005, Barlow was named quarterbacks coach at Alabama State, where one of his pupils, Tarvaris Jackson, would go on to be drafted one year later and is currently a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.
Barlow was named head football coach at Alabama State in 2007, and led the Hornets to the 2010 SWAC Eastern Division Championship. Barlow has guided the Hornets to three consecutive winning seasons and his 40 wins currently ranks fifth all time in ASU football history.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama State University Athletics Dept.