College Football HOF Ballot Announced
The National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2017 ballot selections for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, Wednesday morning. The list includes seventy-five players from the FBS, as well as six coaches.
NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell was quoted as saying:
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.12 million people have played college football. The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names. We look forward to announcing the 2017 Hall of Fame Class on the Friday before the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa.”
Many players who went on to have great professional careers were selected. Household names such as Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Eric Dickerson (SMU), Marshall Faulk (San Diego St.), Tony Gonzalez (Cal), Ray Lewis (Miami, Fl), and Brian Urlacher (New Mexico) all made the ballot. Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina) made the cut by being the winning coach at not one, but two Southeastern Conference schools.
Other well known players included, were: Morton Andersen (Michigan State), Terrell Buckley (Florida State), Kerry Collins (Penn State), Torry Holt (NC State), and Matt Leinart (Southern California). Players and coaches from the FCS, as well as all divisional subdivisions, made the ballot.
Not Everyone Had a Career in the NFL
One of the more surprising selections was that of Kirk Gibson, remembered for his playing and managing career in Major League Baseball. Mainly with the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers, Gibson was an All-American receiver at Michigan State, leading them to a Big Ten co-championship in 1978.
“There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”
Among other criteria, a player must have been selected as a First Team All American and ten years must have passed from their college playing days to be eligible. Coaches are eligible 3 years past retirement or immediately if their age is over seventy. Active coaches are eligible after age seventy-five with ten years and at least one hundred games coached, as well as an .600 winning percentage.
The 2017 Class will be inducted on December 5th, 2017 in New York City.
(College Football HOF Ballot Announced)