Press Release


HOUSTON – The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2019 Class of Gridiron Legends, the committee announced today. The honorees will be introduced at the 2019 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game on Sept. 13 and will be inducted into the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on Dec. 27.

The class of 2019 features Houston Texans seven-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, Rice All-American and 2008 Texas Bowl Champion Jarett Dillard, Former UT athletic director and Texas Sports Hall of Fame member DeLoss Dodds, University of Houston All-Time great quarterback David Klingler, Texas A&M All-American and seven-time Pro-Bowl offensive lineman Richmond Webb, and 10-time HISD coach of the year and High School football legend Ray Seals.

Houston Texans seven-time Pro Bowl and four time All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson started his career off at Miami Senior High School, where he lettered in football, track and basketball. He was named an All-America selection in his senior year where he caught 31 passes for 908 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his three seasons at the University of Miami, Johnson ended up ranking fifth on the school’s all-time receiving yards list after producing 92 receptions for 1,831 yards and 20 touchdowns. He became the second player in Hurricane history to crack the single-season 1,000-yard receiving barrier in his junior year. As a sophomore, he earned multiple honors and helped Miami win its first national title in 10 years, catching 37 passes for 682 yards and a college career best of 10 touchdowns. In the 2002 Rose Bowl, Andre Johnson was named the Co-Player of the Game when he caught seven passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The Houston Texans drafted Johnson as the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he started all 16 games and recorded at least one catch in each game. Throughout his 12 seasons with the Texans, Johnson became the team’s all-time leading receiver with 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. He ranks ninth on the all-time receptions list and 12th in yards receiving. He is one of three players in modern NFL history to lead the league in receiving in back-to-back years. Johnson averaged an NFL all-time 6.0 receptions per game in his career and 80.5 yards receiving per game ranks second in NFL history. With a list of accolades under his belt, Johnson made seven trips to the Pro Bowl. He is a four-time Houston Texans team MVP, and holds the franchise record for the most starts and games played with 169. Johnson became the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 catches in NFL history, doing so in his 168th career game. He also holds the NFL record with 21 career games with 10 or more receptions and 100 or more yards receiving. Johnson set a standard for the Texans, making numerous records for the young team. In 2017, Andre Johnson made his official retirement and later in that year he became the first-ever inductee into the Texans Ring of Honor. Currently, Andre Johnson acts as the Special Advisor to the Head Coach for the Houston Texans.

Former Rice University All-American, wide receiver Jarett Dillard hails from San Antonio, Texas. There he played at Sam Houston High School as a three-year letterman and starter for the Hurricanes. He was a two-time all-district selection at wide receiver, and added all-area to his honors as a senior. Along with football, Dillard also competed for the Sam Houston basketball and track team. He helped the Hurricanes to the 2003 Class 4A state tournament in basketball, and competed in the 2003 Regional Track Meet in both hurdles events. After being accepted into Rice University and taking a redshirt his freshman year, Dillard came out strong, starting in eight games in his first season. For the next three years, Jarett Dillard re-wrote the Rice record book for wide receivers, passing a number of recognizable candidates to become a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2006. In that same year, Dillard became the first Owl since Charles Torrello in 1997 to be named first-team All-America selection by He earned second-team status by The Walter Camp Foundation, Associated Press, The Sporting News and Dillard broke the NCAA record for consecutive games in a season with 13 games, sharing the mark with Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. Jarett Dillard was named the 2007 Consensus C-USA pick and was honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated after leading the Owls with 79 catches for 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns. He led the C-USA receivers with his 14 touchdowns, along with his average of 7.5 catches per conference game. In 2008, Dillard became Rice’s first Football Writers All-America selection since Buddy Dial in 1958. He also earned All-America mention from He became a three-time, first-team consensus All C-USA selection, the first Owl to be a consensus pick for conference honors for three consecutive seasons. Dillard led the NCAA with 19 touchdown catches and became the first receiver in NCAA history to have two, 19-touchdown reception seasons. He became the 10th receiver in NCAA history to top 4,000 yards receiving after his 88-yard effort versus Marshall. In his entire career at Rice, he earned five NCAA receiving records including; most career touchdowns (59), most career touchdowns by a passing duo with quarterback Chase Clement (50). Most career games with a touchdown catch (37), most games with a touchdown catch in a season (13 in 2006), and combined with Clement to earn the Walter Camp foundation National Offensive Players of the Week and C-USA offensive honors. Dillard wrapped up his collegiate career by becoming the 2008 Texas Bowl Champions as Rice defeated Western Michigan in his final game with the Owls.

Dillard was drafted by Jacksonville in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft where he spent three seasons with the Jaguars. The accolades didn’t stop when his playing days ended. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Ed Block Courage award. Dillard currently practices law in the state of Texas and is a longtime Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl volunteer.

Former athletic director for the University of Texas for 32 years, DeLoss Dodds is one of the most accomplished college sports executives in the country, with an athletic career spanning five decades. The Longhorns claimed 14 national titles under his tenure, including the 2005 National Championship in Football. Dodds’ career started after he graduated from Kansas State University in 1959 with a degree in physical education. After spending time in graduate school and in the Army, he became the head track and field coach at K-State in 1963, where he served in that position for 14 years. After guiding the Wildcats to six Big Eight titles and all of his accomplishments with the team, Dodds was inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame in 1989, the Kansas State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and the U.S. Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006. DeLoss Dodds began his career in sports administration by turning a struggling “in-the-red” athletics department into a money-maker in three years as the director of athletics at Kansas State. Prior to UT, he acted as an assistant commissioner to the Big Eight Conference for two years. In 1981, Dodds was hired by the University of Texas to become the school’s sixth athletic director. In his career, he took another struggling program and revived it, overseeing the department’s budget and helping change the face of Texas athletics.  He guided the creation of The Longhorn Foundation in 1986, which raised funds invested in student-athlete scholarships, academic services, sports medicine, facilities and other resources directed at student-athlete development. During his tenure, the Longhorns Athletics program enjoyed some of its most dynamic times. From the fall of 1981 to September 2013, the longhorns claimed 14 National Championships and 108 conference (Southwest and Big 12) titles in nine different sports. With Dodds’ vision for the program, Texas became a national name. The Longhorn’s football run to the BCS National Championship during the 2005 season highlighted one of the most successful periods in UT Athletics history. That fourth title underscored a decade of achievements with at least 10 other victories in nine consecutive seasons. In 2006, Dodds was awarded with the National Football Foundation and the John L. Toner Award for demonstrating his superior administrative abilities. The following year, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. DeLoss Dodds was honored as the 2011 Athletic Director of the Year at the Sports Business Awards. In October of 2013, Dodds announced his retirement as the Texas Men’s athletic director, and the following month all the way up to the present day, DeLoss Dodds has served as special assistant to the UT President.

University of Houston All-American quarterback David Klingler was at the controls during the Cougars’ record-setting run-n-shoot days of the early 90s. His career started here in Houston at Stratford High School where he shined on the field. His performance at Stratford earned him multiple scholarship opportunities Stanford and Pitt for basketball, while Kansas and Ball State wanted him for both basketball and football. Klingler instead decided to stay close to home and attended the University of Houston on a football scholarship. In the beginning, he studied the nuances of the Cougars run-and-shoot play style while being a back up to 1989 Heisman winner, Andre Ware. During his college career, Klingler made a strong impact on the Cougars from 1988-91, bringing a lot of attraction to the school. In the 1990 season, a lot of weight was put on his shoulders after Andre Ware and then Head Coach Jack Pardee left for the NFL, putting Klingler onto the front line. To the surprise of many, Klingler did better than anticipated, breaking or tying numerous passing records in his tenure. Completing 726 of his 1,262 passes for 9,430 yards and 91 touchdowns, posting multiple school records and even more NCAA records. David Klingler set an impressive 48 NCAA records in his two starting seasons with the Cougars. One of those honors being the NCAA record for touchdown passes in a season with 54 touchdowns in 1990. This record stood unbreakable for 16 years until it was broken in 2006 in the Hawaii Bowl. The 1990 season continued to be outstanding for the quarterback, as Klingler led the Cougars to be ranked No. 3 in college football, the programs highest ever ranking. He racked up multiple awards that season as the winner of the 1990 Sammy Baugh Trophy, and the Southwest Conference Player of the Year. Klingler made a valiant push to win the Heisman Trophy and came out as a finalist. A stand out for the University of Houston, David still ranks in the top ten for career touchdown passes and yards, and currently ranks among All-Time passing leaders at the University of Houston. After his career with the Cougars, David Klingler went on to be drafted as the sixth overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1992 NFL Draft.

Former offensive lineman Richmond Webb had an outstanding career at both the collegiate and professional level. Originally, out of Dallas, Webb was a star at Roosevelt High School. He played alongside future NFL players, LB Aaron Wallace and WR Kevin Williams. Initially recruited as a defensive end, Richmond Webb switched over to the offensive side of the ball and became a dominant player at Texas A&M University. During his time as an Aggie, the All-American offensive lineman was a force on the field. He helped the Aggies win two Southwest Conference Championships and was All-SWC in 1989. Webb also received the Aggie Heart Award in the same year. His 13-year NFL career started when the Miami Dolphins selected him as the ninth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. Webb took charge right out the gate, being named NFL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News in his first season. He also made the Pro-Bowl in his rookie season, which was his first of many. In fact, Webb was invited to seven consecutive Pro-Bowls from 1990 to 1996. A four-time AP All-Pro, Richmond Webb set a team record for 118 consecutive starts and helped the Dolphins make the playoffs in eight of his 11 seasons with the team. He was a key blocker and pass protector for Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino from 1990-99. The success of that 1990 season, led the Dolphins to become the All-Decade Team for that year. After his lengthy tenure with the Dolphins, Webb continued to be a key contributor on the field for the Cincinnati Bengals during the final years of his career. In his time there, the Bengals’ offensive line allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in team history and had the second-best individual rushing performance. Richmond Webb concluded his NFL career by retiring as a Dolphin in 2005. Soon after, Webb was added to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2006 along with former S Dick Anderson. In 2007, Richmond Webb was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame and currently ranks no. 16 on the list of the All-Time Greatest Aggies.

Legendary Head Football coach and Athletic Coordinator, Ray Seals has spent nearly the last 50 years as a dominant figure in Houston ISD Athletics. The 10-time HISD Coach of the Year garners an iconic coaching career and has been recognized on the high school, college and professional level. Seals got his start in HISD in 1972 after he was hired as an assistant at Sam Houston. After a few stops at Sterling Aviation High School, Milby High School and James Madison High School, he received his first head-coaching job in 1983 at Milby before taking over the head coaching position at Madison in 1988. For over the next 23 years, Ray Seals built a dynasty at Madison High School, compiling a 212-96 record, along with 21 playoff appearances. As a result of his success on the field, the Prairie View A&M graduate was eventually inducted into several Halls of Honor. These included ones from the Texas High School Coaches Association, the Greater Houston Football Coaches association and HISD. A well-respected figure in football, over 200 of Seals’ players have been awarded scholarships to play at the collegiate level. Another handful more went on to play in the NFL. A few of those notable names spawn under Seals’ coaching include former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young and former Detroit Lions fullback Moran Norris. In 2008, Ray Seals was selected as the NFL High School Coach of the Year. A few years later, Seals was named the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year after being nominated by the Houston Texans. In 2011, Ray Seals decided to call an end to his iconic 46-year career. His record at Madison ended at 182-82-1.

The 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC and will kick off at 5:45 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 27. The game, which has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Peach Bowls since 2014, will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).

Tickets remain for the 2019 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game featuring the University of Houston Cougars and the Washington State Cougars on Friday, September 13 and can be purchased through the website at

Allie LeClair
(832) 667-2050

Brianna Lewis
(832) 667-2035