The Philly Special is already taken. But on Tuesday, December 5, there was a special Philly connection when Eagle Legends Jeremy Maclin, Troy Vincent, and Brian Westbrook were part of the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 that was inducted during the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas.
A wide receiver and two-time All-American as a return specialist at Missouri from 2007 to 2008, Jeremy Maclin, who would be the Eagles' first-round draft pick in 2009, had one goal when he was on the field.
"I think the big thing was anytime I touched the ball; I was trying to score," says Maclin, who had 182 receptions for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns, as well as five more scores on punt and kick returns at Mizzou. "I wanted to be different. I wanted to be a guy that it didn't matter where you gave me the football, I wanted to have an opportunity to be able to make something special happen.
"That 2007 Missouri team was loaded. We had a lot of guys who could do a lot of different things. And I was just trying to add my own little flavor to it. But it goes way beyond that. You've got to have a locker room that's close. You've got to have a locker room that enjoys playing together. You've got to have a group of guys that are selfless. And I think we had that on our team."
With Philadelphia for six seasons, Maclin had the same philosophy as an Eagle as he did as a Missouri Tiger – find the end zone. He led the team in receptions three times and totaled 343 catches for 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns, including two seasons, 2010 and '14, when he scored 10 times.
Maclin is still looking for the end zone, but now as the head coach at Kirkwood (MO) High School, his alma mater.
A standout All-District running back and defensive back at Pennsbury High School in the Philadelphia suburb of Fairless Hills, Vincent may not have won many games at the University of Wisconsin, but he did learn to stand on his own two feet when he was there. And be a 1991 All-American and the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year while doing so.
"(Our records were) 1-10, 2-9, 1-10, and 5-6," Vincent says. "And I talk about the Wisconsin experience all the time. Wisconsin took me from being a boy to a young man and learning how to win. When Coach (Barry) Alvarez came in my sophomore year, we didn't know who we were. You're embarrassed to walk around the campus in your colors.
"But learning how to win, being a team player, being reliable, being trustworthy, not getting outside of your identity, my time and my experience, in particular, the first two seasons, and really three, we were a bad football program. (But) the game has done for me than I can ever do for it."
Joining the Eagles as a free agent cornerback in 1996 after four years with Miami, Vincent would spend eight seasons in Philadelphia, where he'd collect 28 interceptions, be named as an All-Pro in 2002, and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection.
Inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2012, Vincent would play 15 seasons in the league with Miami, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Washington. He is now in his 14th season working for the NFL, and is the Executive VP of Football Operations.
"Today, I represent not only the University of Wisconsin, but the Big Ten," Vincent says. "What I learned at Wisconsin were transferable skills. Being a team player, a great listener, very coachable, dependable. All of those things have allowed me to transition as someone that is still a contributor to the game. Being able to protect the game that we all love, to grow the game that we all love. All of those things were instilled and developed while on campus in Madison."
A three-time first-team All-America running back, Brian Westbrook could have jogged to Veterans Stadium after being chosen by the Eagles in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Villanova.
As a sophomore in 1998, Westbrook became the only player in college football history to rush for 1,000 (1,046) yards and have 1,000 (1,144) receiving yards in the same season. He earned the Walter Payton Award as the best FCS player in the nation in 2001. He still holds the NCAA career record with 9,301 all-purpose yards.
With Philadelphia for eight seasons, Westbrook, who finished his career as the Birds' all-time leader in yards from scrimmage, was as productive and versatile as a Wildcat as he was as an Eagle. He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2015.
"Coming into Villanova, it certainly was not the plan (to play so many roles)," says Westbrook, who was an All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Eagles. "The plan was to really just develop as a player, continue to get better every single year, be able to help the team win games. Over the course of my time there, that took a lot of different roles. Whether it was catching the ball out of the backfield, running the ball, special teams. And so the time there was so special because I had an opportunity to learn so many different things.
"We had so many quality young men and coaches at Villanova during my time there. It was just a great learning experience. And so, for me, being able to play at that level and play that well was a surprise. But it was also something that I worked really, really hard to do. And I was blessed to be able to do it."