Ed King: Auburn’s 2023 SEC Football Legend Honored
AUBURN, Ala. – If the era of recruiting rankings and social media had dawned in 1988, there’s no doubt that Ed King would have shone as a five-star prospect. This football legend, the third player in Auburn’s history to earn All-American status as a sophomore, received a well-deserved tribute at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The occasion? Ed King: Auburn’s 2023 SEC Football Legend Honored.
The Homecoming of a Legend
Amidst the cheers and applause, Ed King stood on the hallowed grounds of Pat Dye Field, brimming with emotion. “It’s awesome,” King expressed, “I always love coming back home. This is my second home. Phenix City, of course, is my first home, but Auburn University – this is my second home. I love it.”
King’s legacy is nothing short of remarkable. A two-time First Team All-American and unanimous selection in 1990, he played a pivotal role in Auburn’s back-to-back SEC titles in 1988 and 1989. Those were the years when the Tigers achieved consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in their history. King’s excellence didn’t stop there; he secured First Team All-SEC honors twice and was a consensus All-American in 1990 before the Cleveland Browns drafted him in the second round in 1991.
The Influence of Coach Pat Dye
Recalling his playing days under the legendary Coach Pat Dye, King said, “Playing under Coach Pat Dye, every day when you get up, are you going to win or are you going to lose?” Coach Dye instilled a spirit of competitiveness that transcended the football field. “We would compete every day, and that’s life. You’re competing every day.”
As King glanced around the stadium, he couldn’t help but be moved by the sea of orange-clad Auburn fans. It served as a powerful reminder of why he chose Auburn in the first place. “The family,” King emphasized, “The Auburn spirit. It was like this 30 or 40 years ago, and it’s like this now.”
A Path to the Hall of Fame
In addition to being honored as an SEC Legend, King has earned a coveted spot on the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. He shares this recognition with fellow Auburn All-Americans Takeo Spikes and Gregg Carr. The Class of ’24 will receive its official announcement in January.
Reflecting on these accolades, King humbly remarked, “It makes an old man like me feel good. I’m not big on accolades, but to get them, I won’t give them back. I love it.”
A Legacy Continues
Throughout the decades since he wore the orange and blue, King has remained closely connected to his alma mater. He eagerly watches as current Tigers strive to etch their own names in the annals of Auburn’s legendary football history. “These kids are going to be our future guys who take my spot down the road,” King mused.
Beyond the Gridiron
After an illustrious career spanning 10 seasons in professional football, including stints in the NFL, Canadian Football League, and NFL Europe, King transitioned into sales and marketing. Later on, he found fulfillment in the world of high school teaching and coaching.
Today, King enjoys retirement alongside his fiancée, Brandi Hatcher, in Smyrna, Georgia. It’s a short commute to downtown Atlanta, where King will again be honored at the 2023 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” on December 1-2.
The Celebration Continues
King and his fellow 2023 honorees will be celebrated at the annual SEC Legends Celebration on December 1 at the College Football Hall of Fame. The festivities will culminate at the SEC Football Championship Game on December 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
In a heartwarming ceremony filled with nostalgia and pride, Auburn University has paid tribute to one of its football legends, Ed King. His journey from a young recruit to an SEC Football Legend is a testament to the enduring spirit of competition, family, and excellence that defines Auburn’s storied football program.
With a renewed focus on Ed King’s illustrious career and Auburn’s enduring football legacy, this news blog brings you an in-depth look at the celebration and recognition of a true SEC Football Legend.