April 9, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame two-time unanimous All-America defensive end Ross Browner has been elected to the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame.
Notre Dame has more representatives in the Hall of Fame than any other school — with Browner representing the 38th former Irish player named, to go with five former Irish head coaches.
Browner joins 11 other players and three coaches in the latest class of inductees that also includes players Chuck Dicus (Arkansas), Chris Gilbert (Texas), John Hannah (Alabama), Billy Kilmer (UCLA), Steve Kiner (Tennessee), Chuck Long (Iowa), Frank Loria (Virginia Tech), Joe Palumbo (Virginia), Greg Pruitt (Oklahoma), Herschel Walker (Georgia) and Ed White (California), and coaches Jerry Claiborne (Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky), Don Coryell (Whittier, San Diego State) and Jim Young (Arizona, Purdue, Army).
A native of Warren, Ohio, Browner was a four-year starter for the Irish on the defensive line, starting on both the 1973 and 1977 Notre Dame national championship teams. He won the Outland Trophy as a junior in ’76, then as a senior claimed the Lombardi Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the United Press International Lineman of the Year award and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
The 6-3, 248-pounder ranked third on the team in tackles as a freshman with 68 (leading team in tackles for loss with 15) in ’73. He made 71 more tackles (16 for loss) in ’75, 97 (28 for loss, a Notre Dame season record) in ’76 and 104 (18 for loss) in ’77. His career totals featured 340 tackles (Notre Dame record for most by a down lineman), 77 for losses (also a career record) of 515 yards and eight fumble recoveries. He’s considered one of the most dominant defensive linemen ever to play at Notre Dame.
Browner was the eighth overall selection in the first round of the 1978 National Football League draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He played from ’79 through ’86 with the Bengals, then in ’87 with Green Bay.
The 1978 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in economics is currently president of the Browner Group, Inc., in Atlanta, Ga.