Dinner had hardly concluded when Clemson University's all-America nose guard, William Perry -- all 300-plus pounds of him -- arrived at the 47th annual Pigskin Club Awards Dinner at the Washington Hilton last night.
Toastmaster Frank P. Bolden had told the audience that Perry would be late but would be easily recognized when he arrived. Even former NFL star Larry Little, now the coach at Bethune-Cookman College and no small man himself at 250-plus pounds, raised an eyebrow as Perry strolled through the crowd and took his seat at the head table.
Perry, nicknamed "The Refrigerator," was honored as the NCAA lineman of the year.
Other honorees included Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, Little as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year, Heisman trophy runner-up Keith Byars of Ohio State as offensive player of the year, LaVell Edwards of top-ranked Brigham Young as NCAA coach of the year and the high school all-metropolitan football team.
Redskins running back Joe Washington said because of the big game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, he was going to accept Theismann's award and handle the acceptance speech.
"Joe has to call a lot of audibles Sunday so he has to save his voice," Washington said. "We won't let him talk too much tonight."
But Theismann still spoke to the packed house before exiting.
The highlight of the three-hour evening was the presentation of a special award by Carol Randolph of WDVM-TV-9's "Morning Break" program to Sacajuwea Hunter, 14, of the District, who participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics in the wheelchair competition.
High school coach of the year -- Glenn Furman, T.C. Williams
NCAA coach of the year -- LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young University
NCAA offensive player of the year -- Keith Byars, Ohio State
Outstanding leadership and achievement on the football field -- Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State
Pigskin Club Special Award -- Billy Joe, coach at Central State University
NCAA lineman of the year -- William Perry, Clemson
MEAC coach of the year -- Larry Little, Bethune-Cookman College
MEAC player of the year -- Gene Lake, Delaware State
CIAA coach of the year -- Willard Bailey, Norfolk State
CIAA player of the year -- JoJo White, Livingstone College
Lawrence Augustus Oxley Trophy -- Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins
Leonard Ford Trophy -- Sonny Smith, Fort Hunt High School
Pigskin Club achievement plaques -- All-Metropolitan high school football team-offensive and defensive team/punter, kicker and kick returner
Pigskin Club special citations -- David Clarke, chairman of D.C. City Council; Zachary Clayton, assistant to the managing director of the city of Philadelphia in charge of gang control; Sacajuwea Hunter.