Every year, the ACC picks a class of “legends,” one from each member school to represent their teams at the league’s championship game festivities in December.
At least half of those selected never actually played in the ACC. And even fewer can legitimately be classified as honest-to-goodness legends.
This year, however, at least one of the honorees truly fits the latter description.
Although Bob Harris never played in an ACC football game, he provided the play-by-play descriptions for 471 of them in a row for Duke fans listening on the radio. The recently retired broadcaster is one of 14 “ACC Legends” announced by the conference on Tuesday.
Among the others named are North Carolina’s Brian Simmons, NC State’s Levar Fisher and Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier.
Harris took over the football and basketball broadcasting chores at Duke in 1976 and spent more than four decades as “The Voice of the Blue Devils.” A four-time North Carolina Broadcaster of the Year, Harris has been inducted into both the state sports Hall of Fame and the one honoring sports legends in his native Stanly County while becoming a recipient of The Order or the Long Leaf Pine — an honor conferred by the governor for exemplary service to North Carolina and its communities.
Like Harris, Simmons is also involved of broadcasting, although he is only in his second season as the color analyst for the Tar Heel Sports Network. As a player from 1994-97, he was a consensus first-team All-American linebacker who went on to play 10 NFL seasons after being selected in first-round of the 1998 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Simmons finished his career with 37 tackles for losses and 11 sacks while setting a school record with his 160 interception return yards.
Fisher was also a linebacker who was the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist as a junior in 2000. Fisher led the nation with an average of 15.1 tackles per game that season on his way to setting an NC State school record with 492 career tackles. Fisher led the Wolfpack to three bowl games while earning first-team All-America honors in both 2000 and 2001 before having an injury-shortened NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.
Plackemeier, meanwhile, was the 2005 Ray Guy Award winner as the nation’s best punter who became only the fifth player in Deacons history to be named a first-team All-America three times in his career. His career average of 45.26 yards per punt was the best in ACC history at the time of his graduation. His punts of 71, 74 and 82 yards were the three longest in the league in his senior season.
The rest of this year’s ACC Legends class consists of Boston College’s Matt Hasselbeck, Clemson’s Homer Jordan, the late Monk Bonasorte of Florida State, Georgia Tech’s Keith Brooking, Louisville’s Joe Jacoby, Miami’s Bennie Blades, Pitt’s Jimbo Covert, Syracuse’s Tom Coughlin, Virginia’s Bob Davis and Virginia Tech’s Jim Pyne.
The group will be honored during the ACC Night of Legends presented by the Charlotte Sports Foundation at the Charlotte Convention Center, on Friday, Dec. 1 and during the on-field pregame festivities at the ACC Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.