The 14 greats being enshrined in the Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night in a virtual ceremony have credentials that set them among the elite figures in the rich history of GSU Athletics.
Nine of the inductees played professionally, including Simsboro native Albert Hartwell Jr.
Willie Williams had the most success in the pro ranks as a defensive back from 1965-75 for the Giants and Raiders, and in the World Football League in his last two seasons. Williams led the NFL in interceptions in 1968 and made the Pro Bowl a year later. He had 35 career interceptions – 10 for New York in his fourth pro season — after being an eighth-round NFL Draft pick in 1965. Williams was a starter in his last six NFL seasons before jumping to the WFL’s Hawaii franchise. He died in 2015.
Andrew Glover scored 24 NFL touchdowns in his career as a tight end from 1991-2000 with the Raiders, Vikings and Saints. The 6-6, 250-pounder from Gonzales caught 208 passes for 2,478 yards as a pro after being a 10th-round selection following his days playing for Eddie Robinson’s Tigers.
Hartwell passed away in January at age 72 after a very successful high school coaching career, including a 2017 state championship at Washington-Marion in Lake Charles and a pair, with boys and girls teams, at Carroll High in Monroe. Noted as a sharp dresser on the bench, he was 765-403 as a prep coach after sparkling for coach Fred Hobdy at Grambling, and playing in the NBA for the New York Knicks and New Orleans Jazz.
John Jeter played in six Major League Baseball seasons from 1969-74, breaking in the big leagues with the Pirates for two seasons, then moving to the Padres for two more, going to the White Sox for 1973 and ending in Cleveland the following year. An outfielder, the Shreveport native had a career .244 batting average, 18 homers and 28 steals in MLB.
Carlos Pennywell was a sensational receiver at Shreveport’s Captain Shreve High who was a favorite target of Doug Williams during their days at Grambling. After averaging 23.4 yards per catch as an All-SWAC performer in 1977, he was the 77th player chosen in the 1978 NFL Draft and played for New England from 1978-81, then in the CFL for Winnipeg.
Dwight Scales was another standout receiver for the Tigers in the early 1970s and was a fifth-round NFL Draft pick (155th overall). He played eight pro seasons for the Rams, Giants, Chargers and Seahawks, seeing action in 90 games, making 56 catches for 1,120 yards and four scores, owning a 20.0 average per catch.
Robert “Bob” Barber was the 51st pick in the 1975 NFL Draft by the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers, but the second-round choice played for the Packers from 1976-79. A playmaking defensive end at Grambling, the Ferriday native played 60 NFL games, starting 22 in Green Bay, before moving north to the CFL’s Edmonton franchise.
Lee Fobbs was a standout running back for coach Rob who was an eighth-round NFL Draft pick by Buffalo. He made his mark as a player in the CFL with Ottawa and Winnipeg, and played for the WFL’s Detroit and Birmingham franchises. The Monroe native had a five-decade collegiate coaching career, including stops at Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Minnesota and Kansas, and assisted his son, Broderick, at Grambling.
Kenny Simpson had a phenomenal senior season at Shreveport’s Fair Park High School and was a dynamic small forward as a four-year starter (121 games) for Hobdy at Grambling, leading the Tigers to the 1982 NIT. A fifth-round NBA Draft pick in 1982, Simpson found stardom over 14 seasons in Europe, once scoring 61 points in an exhibition game against the USSR and playing on five championship teams. He was the 1986 Spanish League’s leading scorer.
Other Grambling Legends inductees are Vergie Broussard (contributor), O.K. “Buddy” Davis (contributor), Michael Moore (football), Wilmer Sigler (baseball), and Daniel Washington (contributor).
The event will be streamed over Zoom. Access to the Zoom link and more information on the event is available by contacting Dr. Ruby Higgins at email@example.com.
Graphic: courtesy of Grambling Legends, Inc.