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Heisman winner Rogers among Gwinnett Hall of Fame class

The second class of the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame became official this week and it includes a Heisman Trophy winner.

Duluth grad George Rogers, the 1980 Heisman winner for South Carolina, joins Central Gwinnett grads Ted Roof and Eddie Martin, accomplished Norcross swimmer Mary Ellen Blanchard and the late Wingo brothers of Norcross in the 2011 class of inductees.

The four living members of the class will attend the May 1 induction at Coolray Field, as will descendants of the Wingo brothers. The inaugural class was honored last summer and featured Terry Harvey of Dacula, Matt Stinchcomb of Parkview, Ida Neal-Smith of Central, Cindy Brogdon of Greater Atlanta Christian and deceased boxer Ezzard Charles, a Lawrenceville native.

"We knew after the first year we had to follow up strong," said David Seago, who heads up the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation committee behind the hall of fame fundraiser. "We couldn't be happier with this group. It's going to be a great follow-up year."

As with the 2010 class, this year's group will be inducted during a Gwinnett Braves' baseball game. The event is a fundraiser for the GCPS Foundation, which launched its hall of fame last year.

Rogers was a star running back in the 1970s at Duluth before a record-breaking career at South Carolina, highlighted by his Heisman win. He won the NFL rushing title as a rookie and played seven seasons professionally, winning a Super Bowl title with the Washington Redskins.

Like Rogers, Roof built his success on the football field. An All-ACC linebacker at Georgia Tech, he is a member of the Yellow Jackets' Hall of Fame. Since his graduation, he has built a long coaching career that includes winning the BCS National Championship two months ago as Auburn's defensive coordinator.

Martin was a standout basketball player at Central who has become one of the state's most accomplished coaches with more than 600 career wins. He coached at Brookwood for 20 seasons and has won five state championships since 2006 at Norcross and Greater Atlanta Christian.

Blanchard, now Mary Ellen Warta, was a swimming star in Gwinnett before the sport hit its current participation levels. She missed the Olympics by less than a second as a 14-year-old in 1988, then set two American and one U.S. Open record in 1989.

The Wingo brothers played a combined 23 seasons in the major leagues -- 17 by Ivey and six by Red. They grew up playing for Norcross' city baseball teams before making the majors.

Tickets to the G-Braves' May 1 game, featuring the Gwinnett Sports Hall of Fame event, are still available, as are sponsorships of the induction. For more information, contact Kelly Herndon of the GCPS Foundation at Kelly_Herndon@gwinnett.k12.ga.us or at www.gcps-foundation.org.