This must have been some week for Harold Carmichael.
In the midst of celebrating a Super Bowl win with his adopted hometown of Philadelphia — the first for the organization for whom he played for more than a dozen years — he will now realize a dream when he gets inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Atlanta.
Carmichael will be the fourth Southern player to be enshrined in the Black College Football Hall of Fame, joining Mel Blount (2011), Aeneas Williams (2016) and Isiah Robertson (2017).
The 6-foot-8 Carmichael walked on at Southern as a three-sport athlete, and left as a seventh-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles as a wide receiver.
He turned that into a 14-year NFL career that saw him make the Pro Bowl four times. He was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade team and this season was made part of Southern’s new ring of honor at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
This will be Carmichael’s third Hall of Fame induction. He was also inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2012.
Though Carmichael was not available for an interview for this story, he was interviewed by a reporter with the Philadelphia Eagles team website after his selection was announced in October.
In that interview, he said his voice was still recovering from all his jubilant yelling after receiving the call.
“This is so exciting,” Carmichael told the Eagles team website when he heard the news in October. “I always wondered: Did I do anything in college to make me qualify for the Black Hall of Fame? I guess I did.”
Among the people to call Carmichael after his selection was former Grambling quarterback Doug Williams, the Co-Founder of the Black College Football Hall of Fame and member of the Hall’s class of 2011.
Membership into the club — which will stand at 77 members after Carmichael and six others are inducted Saturday — was something Carmichael had been hoping he would be able to add to his career résumé.
“This is something that in the past few years I really wanted to be a part of,” Carmichael told the Eagles. “There’s a lot of great guys that are in the hall of fame, guys I played with in college ... and a few of these guys were mentors for me.”
Joining Carmichael in the Class of 2018 will be Raymond Chester, Thomas Henderson, Leo Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Everson Walls and coach Bill Hayes. But his connection to the hall runs deeper than this class.
He recalled some of his soon-to-be fellow Hall of Famers that have been a part of his career, all the way from its humble beginnings to the professional level.
Ken Burrough (2016), a former New Orleans Saint and the last NFL player to wear the uniform No. 00, was a high school teammate of Carmichael’s at William M. Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida.
At Southern, he learned from Mel Blount (2011), who he said was “very good to me.”
When he was drafted by Philadelphia, he had former Jackson State star Harold Jackson (2017) there to show him the ropes.
Those are all people who had an impact on Carmichael’s life and career, and he will now forever be associated with them.
“It’s awesome to be a part of that crowd, that group of people,” Carmichael said. “It’s special.”