Carlos Alvarez enshrined into HOF

University of Florida Football alum Carlos Alvarez was honored as part of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Class on Saturday night in South Bend, Ind.

Alvarez played three seasons (1969-71) for the University of Florida, making 172 receptions, totaling 2,563 receiving yards and scoring 19 touchdowns, all records at the time. His total yardage still stands as the most all-time for a Gator, with close to 200 yards separating him from second place.

The flanker made his mark on the Florida program from the very start of his career, as he scored on a 70-yard touchdown reception for quarterback John Reaves in his first career game to lead the Gators to a 59-34 upset of No. 7 Houston in the 1969 lid-lifter. The TD was his first of 172 career receptions, a Gator record that stood for 36 years.

As a sophomore in ’69, Alvarez caught 88 passes for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns, all marks that sat atop the UF record books for over 20 years, and his 88 receptions is still tied for the most all-time.

Alvarez and Reaves connected 15 times for 237 yards in Florida’s memorable 35-16 Homecoming victory of 1969, setting a single-game reception record that still stands today.

His impressive debut season made him the youngest player ever to become an AFCA First Team All-America selection, while also earning two All-SEC selections. In addition to his feats on the gridiron, Alvarez was a three-time Academic All-American and UF’s first ever three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. Additionally, he is a member of Florida’s All-Century Team, the Florida-Georgia Game Hall of Fame and the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

“Carlos is a great example of all that is good in college athletics,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said last fall when it was announced that Alvarez would be inducted. “His tireless work and commitment to excellence translated into success both on and off the field. He has maintained his level of commitment and success in his professional career as well.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see Carlos a number of times when he visits Gainesville and he remains a tremendous ambassador for our program. The honor is well-deserved.”

Alvarez joins five former UF players and eight overall members of the Florida football program as NFF College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including Ray Graves (1960-69, inducted 1990) and Doug Dickey (1970-78, inducted 2003), Alvarez’s two head coaches. Two of those Gators earned the honor in the past six years; Emmitt Smith (1987-89, inducted 2006) and Wilber Marshall (1980-83, inducted 2008). Other Gator Hall of Famers include players Dale Van Sickel (1927-29, inducted 1975), Steve Spurrier (1964-66, inducted 1986) and Jack Youngblood (1968-70, inducted 1992), and former UF Head Coach Charles Bachman (1928-32, inducted 1978).

After graduating from the University of Florida, Alvarez continued to excel, as he was awarded an NCAA Merit Post-Graduate Scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke Law School. He is now a practicing lawyer in Tallahassee. During his career, he has served on the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Claims Court, the Florida Elections Commission and the Second Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission.  He was honored with Jose Marti Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Cuban Community from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and was named the SMU School of Law’s Outstanding Professor in 1980. He has also received keys to the city from Miami and Tampa.

“What a tremendous honor for Carlos Alvarez and the University of Florida football family,’’ Florida head football coach Will Muschamp said after Alvarez was named as an inductee last fall. “Growing up a Gator fan, I was very aware of what Carlos accomplished, setting most of the receiving records in an era when you could only play three years and the seasons were only 11 games long. Carlos was equally successful in the classroom at UF and he has carried that success to his law practice.

“I had the pleasure of talking to Carlos shortly after I got the job at Florida and despite all of his success – I remember how humble he remains. He is very proud to be a Gator and today all Gators should be proud of him.’’

Alvarez was honored along with his 15 classmates in the Hall of Fame: Chris Bisaillon (Illinois Wesleyan); Doug English (Texas) (1972-74); Bill Enyart (Oregon State); Eddie George (Ohio State); Marty Lyons (Alabama); Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.); Richard McGeorge (Elon); Rex Mirich (Northern Arizona); Deion Sanders (Florida State); Jake Scott (Georgia); Will Shields (Nebraska); Darryl Talley (West Virginia); Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma); Rob Waldrop (Arizona); Gene Washington (Michigan State). Coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan); Fisher DeBerry (Air Force); and Ron Harms (Concordia [Neb.], Adams State [Colo.], Texas A&M – Kingsville).

The deceased members of the class, Jim Holder (Oklahoma Panhandle State); Sandy Stephens (Minnesota); and coaches Gene Carpenter (Adams State [Colo.], Millersville [Pa.]); and William “Lone Star” Dietz (Washington State, Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Wyoming, Haskell Indian Institute [Kan.], Albright [Pa.]), were represented at the events by family members.

Courtesy UF Communications