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Bill Royce

Defensive End

William Anthony Royce

Inducted 2016

Date of Birth



Mt. Gilead, OH


Ashland University (1990-1993)


One of the most highly decorated defensive players in Division II history, Bill Royce earned First Team All-America honors in 1993 on his way to becoming the first Eagle player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. Royce was named a First Team All-America in 1993 after posting a single-season school record 20.5 sacks. He would also lead the team in sacks in 1991 and 1992, finishing with an astounding 71 in his career, though it was not an officially kept stat until 2000. Named the MIFC/GLIAC Player of the Year as a senior, Royce is one of just four defensive players to earn the honor. He was the conference’s defensive player and defensive lineman of the year in both 1992 and 1993 while also earning first team all-conference laurels. A Harlon Hill candidate as the top player in Division II as a junior and senior, Royce was Ashland’s defensive MVP and team captain both seasons. An AP Third Team All-American in 1992, Royce led the Eagles to national rankings three times while guiding the team to its best four-year record in school history at 33-10-1. Royce helped the Eagles defense lead the NCAA in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense during his junior and senior seasons. He set a single-game school record for sacks with 3.5 against Wayne State (Mich.) in 1993. Royce was selected to play in the 1993 Snow Bowl All-Star Game after posting 366 career tackles while playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Fred Martinelli. Royce graduated from Ashland in 1994 with a bachelor’s in business administration. He was selected to the Ashland University All Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and he is a charter member of the Ashland University Gridiron Club.


Height 6'2"

Weight 255

Career Highlights

  • 1993 All-Conference
  • 1993 Conference MVP
  • 1993 First Team - All-America (Div. II)
  • 1992 All-Conference
  • 1992 Conference MVP
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