Auburn’s Greatest Backfield Reunites – A Night of Hope

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Arguably the greatest backfield in Auburn football history will be together again at the first “A Night of Hope,” benefitting the Henry Tellis Foundation.

Running backs William Andrews, James Brooks and Joe Cribbs will join quarterback Charlie Trotman at the dinner event, scheduled for Aug. 19 in the Fellowship Hall at Frazer United Methodist Church. The dinner begins at 6, with the four taking the stage after to reminisce about their football careers. Individual tickets are available for $60, with a table for eight costing $400. Corporate sponsorships are also available by going to the foundation’s website at

The foursome of Andrews, Brooks, Cribbs and Trotman were at Auburn in the mid- to late-1970s, with the group playing together for two seasons – 1977 and 1978. During that period Auburn’s veer offense was one of the most prolific in the country. With Trotman at the controls, Brooks and Cribbs were the Southeastern Conference’s leading rushers in 1979. Brooks finished with 1,208 yards and Cribbs 1,120, with the pair combining for 25 touchdowns.  Brooks and Cribbs were the first two backs to rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season in Southeastern Conference history. Andrews was primarily a blocking back for the Tigers, but still amassed 1,346 career yards on the ground. 

Andrews, Brooks and Cribbs all excelled in the National Football League. Andrews, who during his career with Atlanta amassed 5,986 rushing yards and another 2,645 in receptions, earned trips to four straight Pro Bowls. The Falcons retired his number (31) in 2004. Brooks, who played professionally for both the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals, was also a four-time Pro Bowler. Upon leaving Cincinnati he was the Bengals all-time leading rusher and finished his career with 14,910 all-purpose yards. Cribbs was the AFC Rookie of the Year for the Buffalo Bills in 1980 and led the team in rushing through the 1983 season.

Trotman was a three-year starter for the Tigers and following his senior season was selected the most valuable player in the 1979 Blue-Gray All-Star Football Classic. After playing in the USFL for the Birmingham Stallions, Trotman spent 15 seasons as the color commentator on the Auburn Network’s radio broadcasts. He currently co-hosts The MAX Round Table daily sports radio show on ESPN The Ticket.

Henry Tellis started the foundation bearing his name in 2012. The Montgomery native works tirelessly in the mentoring program to provide hope and inspiration to young men who are seeking the presence of a positive male role model in their daily lives. Tellis played football locally at Sidney Lanier and continued his playing career at Troy and in the NFL with the New York Giants and the New York Jets. His heart never left Montgomery, however, and through his leadership the foundation continues to seek ways to inspire young people to dream and believe.


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