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Town Creek’s Antonio Langham: HOF election ‘surreal’

TOWN CREEK — After a couple of years on the ballot, former University of Alabama and Hazlewood High School star, Antonio Langham, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. 

“It was a surreal moment,” Langham said about hearing the news Jan. 8. “I’m embracing it now and soaking it all in. I’ve done several interviews already so it’s sinking in.

(@NFLPAFmrPlayers/X, YHN)

“I knew I had the ability to be something, but I never would’ve dreamed it would lead to this.”

From elementary school field days to Friday night football then on to college Saturdays and pro Sundays, his Hazlewood classmates have continuously rooted for Langham’s success. 

After I shared the news with the Class of 1990 via our group chat, the texts started rolling in:

“Congratulations T.O.!”

Wow! Congrats – well deserved!”

“Congratulations!!! Very deserving, T.O.!!”

“Congratulations Antonio! You have always been a superstar!”

“Congrats Tonio! Ro’Tide!”

“Awesome! 9-0, full of heroes”

“Congratulations! This one was a no-brainer. Well deserved!”

“I’ll say it now in the group but never again …. Roll Tide Roll!”

“Not saying RT but love you fam! We need to celebrate for real!”

And Langham texted back:

“To my classmates/my family, thank you! Mega luv 1990. We in!” 

Langham’s usage of “we” is telling. He considers his schoolmates as family. And he credits his faith and growing up in a tight-knit community with his success.

“First of all, God is the reason I am where I am,” Langham said. “Antonio Langham would not have talent if God had not given it to me.

“Next, it’s because of the village, Town Creek. Everybody raised us – the community chastised us and got onto us when we needed it. Town Creek is family. Everyone grew up really close and we’ve stayed close, especially our class.”

(University of Alabama Athletics)

A two-time All-American at cornerback for Alabama and current Miles College defensive backs coach, Langham is one of 19 players and three coaches headed to the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame. He joins 22 other Alabama players in the CFB Hall of Fame as well as his Miles College colleague Ronald McKinnon, a 2008 inductee from the University of North Alabama.

Along with the village, Langham also credited the Hazlewood players ahead of him who earned college scholarships.

“The ability to see the guys before me who got scholarships and got out was big,” Langham said. “Guys like Chris and Kerry and Pierre Goode and Chris Mitchell and Tony Harris showed us that the thing we dreamed about was possible.”

The Goode brothers are Langham’s first cousins and played at Alabama. Mitchell played at Ole Miss while Harris played at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. 

Someone else who helped Langham see the possibilities for his future was his late maternal grandmother.

“When I was 12 my grandmother was on her sickbed and she said, ‘God’s already told me you’re going to be alright. But remember, no matter what happens, you better stay respectful to others and never meet a stranger,’” Langham said. “That stuck with me and I promised myself I was never going to change who I am. I always try to be friendly and cordial and to smile when I meet people. 

“I’ve had people tell me I could be in the worst position and I’d still have a million-dollar smile,” he said with a laugh. 

“There are two things that define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. These two things will show you who you really are.”

Langham has lived up to his grandmother’s instructions. While he’s known in football circles for his success, around Town Creek he’s known as T.O., our classmate, the fastest kid on the playground, and the one who is always smiling.

Alumni from Hazlewood High School will celebrate Langham and his accomplishments with a dinner in his honor this weekend.

The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame class will be inducted during the 66th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas. The honorees will also be recognized at their colleges during the fall, with their accomplishments enshrined at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

(University of Alabama Athletics)

Hall of Fame Stats

  • Finished his four-year Alabama career, from 1990-93, with 141 tackles and a record 19 interceptions.
  • Led the Crimson Tide to 40 wins in his four seasons, including an SEC Championship and a national title in 1992.
  • Named the inaugural SEC Championship Most Valuable Player in 1992, a game commemorated in the ESPN film “The Play That Changed College Football.”
  • Became Alabama’s first winner of the Thorpe Award in 1993, for the nation’s top defensive back.
  • First team All-American in 1992 and 1993, unanimous selection for 1993.
  • Played seven years in the NFL after being selected in the first round, ninth overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1994.
  • 1994 NFL All-Rookie Team after starting all 16 games for the Browns and totaling 61 tackles, a forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two interceptions in his first season.
  • One of only two athletes who played for the Cleveland Browns before they became the Baltimore Ravens and who then returned to the Browns after the expansion team formed in 1999.
  • Elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

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