FRISCO, Texas - Northwestern State great Gary Reasons, a College Football Hall of Fame member, is the keynote speaker Friday for the NCAA FCS National Championship Luncheon Friday, a day before Southland Conference champion Sam Houston State takes on North Dakota State for the FCS national title.
Reasons, who lives in the Dallas area, played linebacker for the Demons from 1980-1983. He became the first three-time All-America selection in FCS history while playing for coaches A.L. Williams and Sam Goodwin at Northwestern. Along with being part of the inaugural "divisional" class, along with Louisiana Tech's Terry Bradshaw and Jackson State's Walter Payton, in 1996 for the College Football Hall of Fame, Reasons is enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and the Graduate N Club Hall of Fame at NSU.
In 2007, Reasons was chosen for the Top 100 Players in Demon Football History covering 100 years of football at Northwestern. His number 34 Demon jersey is one of five retired by NSU.
He set the Demons' career tackles record with 394, including a record 172 in his senior season. Reasons played nine seasons in the NFL after being a fourth-round draft pick in 1984.
He was a starting linebacker for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in 1986 and 1991. He was the leading tackler in Super Bowl XXV with six stops.
Two plays with the Giants are frozen in the history of the franchise. In 1989, Reasons delivered a goal line hit on Denver's Bobby Humphrey at snowy Mile High Stadium. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Humphrey took a handoff and lept toward the end zone but Reasons launched himself into the air, meeting Humphrey head on, stopping the Broncos running back for no gain and preserving a key late-season win.
"THAT is football," John Madden said on the CBS broadcast.
Ironically, the other pivotal play in Giants' history involved Reasons running with the ball. A 30-yard fourth-quarter run with a fake punt set up a game-winning field goal against the 49ers in the 1990 NFC Championship Game.
For several seasons, Reasons was the Giants' NFLPA player representative and was on the NFLPA executive committee that brought in free agency a year after his playing career ended. He has been in private business and for 18 years has worked as a college football analyst for ABC and for Fox Sports, covering Big 12 Conference football for 14 seasons.
In September, Reasons made an emotional talk to the 2011 NSU football team, discussing life lessons, at the invitation of head coach Bradley Dale Peveto.