Former player Johnny Roland named Missouri's first SEC Football Legend

Thursday, September 13, 2012 | 8:48 p.m. CDT; updated 9:06 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 13, 2012

COLUMBIA — Former Missouri football player Johnny Roland has been named to the Southeastern Conference's Football Legends Class of 2012. He will be Mizzou's first SEC Legend.

Roland was an All-Big Eight player for the Tigers in 1962, 1964 and 1965, when they were members of the Big Eight Conference.

He was a two-way player at Missouri, beginning his career for former coach Dan Devine as a running back, but switching as a junior to defensive back for his senior season in 1965, when he led the Tigers to an 8-2-1 record and a 20-18 win over Florida and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Steve Spurrier in the 1966 Sugar Bowl.

Roland went on to have a successful career in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1966 to 1972 and New York Giants in 1973. His No. 23 jersey was retired by Missouri and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Roland's classmates from the eastern division include Steve Tannen of Florida, David Greene of Georgia, Sonny Collins of Kentucky, Ko Simpson of South Carolina, Peerless Price of Tennessee and Hunter Hillenmeyer of Vanderbilt.

The Legends will be honored at the Southeastern Conference's "Weekend of Champions," set for Nov. 31 to  Dec. 1 in Atlanta, Ga. The class will be recognized before the SEC championship football game scheduled for Dec. 1 at the Georgia Dome.

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