Illinois State football legend Boomer Grigsby ’07 has earned a spot among college football’s all-time greats, as the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced January 10 that he will be a member of the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class.

Grigsby is one of 18 First Team All-America players and three standout coaches in the 2022 Class that were selected from the national ballot of 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, the 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks and the NFF Veterans Committee candidates. He is the first Illinois State football player to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame.

“I am completely overwhelmed by this honor and cannot thank the National Football Foundation voters enough for selecting me to be a part of this amazing 2022 College Football Hall of Fame class,” Grigsby said. “This award is so much more than only me. This is for my family, my hometown of Canton, Illinois, my alma mater Illinois State, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, and all the people who helped me along the way. This never would have been possible without all of them. They helped me earn this; We earned this.”

The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6. The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings.

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”

Grigsby, a three-time First-Team All-American (2002-04) and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) career leader in total (550) and solo (325) tackles, is of the most celebrated players in FCS history. The Canton, Illinois, native was a three-time Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year, making him the only player in league history to accomplish the feat. He was also a three-time finalist in the Buck Buchanan Award voting as the nation’s top FCS defensive player. He is the only player in the history of the award to finish in the top-three for three-consecutive years.

“On behalf of the National Football Foundation’s Chicago Metro Chapter Board of Directors, we would like to extend our congratulations to Boomer Grigsby for this well-deserved milestone,” Chris Kearney, National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Board President said. “Boomer’s Hall of Fame candidacy was widely supported by our Chapter Members throughout Illinois and we are thrilled for Boomer, his teammates, coaches, Redbirds Athletics and Illinois State fans.  Honoring Boomer and the entire Hall of Fame class on December 6th at the Hall of Fame Induction will be extremely festive.”  

Grigsby has been inducted into the Canton High School and Illinois State Athletics Percy Family halls of fame and was selected as a member of the MVFC All-Select NFL Team and Silver Anniversary Team (announced in 2009). 

Following his illustrious collegiate career, Grigsby was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played three seasons with the Chiefs, before finishing his career with stops with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans. Grigsby continued his relationship with Illinois State football as the color analyst for Redbird football broadcasts on NBC Sports Chicago for three seasons and served as a television analyst for Illinois High School Association football playoff broadcasts for two years. He currently resides in Henderson, Nevada, with his wife Jacqueline and their children and works for Stryker Instruments.