2018 College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot Released: Ranking The Candidates
The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame ballot has been released with Charles Woodson, Mack Brown, Ed Reed, and other legends to choose from.
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the names on the 2018 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
So who really deserves to be in?
The massive list of nominees from the NFF is always interesting, and sometimes a bit puzzling. Even more strange is how some players aren’t automatic slam dunks.
I believe in the Danny Ocean to Linus Caldwell approach to the Hall of Fame. Either you’re in or you’re out. Right now.
A Hall of Famer should be obvious, and it’s not just about name recognition. A player’s popularity doesn’t mean he had all-timer of an impact on the sport or was one of the true greats. Perspective is needed, eras and systems have to be considered, and there should be some test of time.
NFL production doesn’t matter in any way, shape or form – this is the COLLEGE Football Hall of Fame – and other factors shouldn’t matter at all. Being worthy of the Hall should only be about what happened on the field during that player’s college career.
Really, Eric Dickerson isn’t in yet?
Who really were the best of the all-time best? Welcome to a ranking of all player FBS nominees and coaches based on how much they deserve to be in the Hall. A few things to keep in mind before going forward.
1. To set the dial to hypocrite, I might be a champion against performance enhancing drugs, and it’s my career dream to get the smoking gun needed to finally expose a few programs just begging to get tagged, but I’m letting it go when it comes to the Hall of Fame rankings.
2. I know I’m supposed to care if a player was a NFF Scholar-Athlete, but I don’t.
3. Win a Heisman, get in the Hall. That should be an automatic.
4. I don’t care if a player was given cars, cash, girls, or all of the above. Police this and you probably don’t have a College Football Hall of Fame.
5. If you have to make a case why a player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, he probably doesn’t deserve to be in.
Not only do voters have to take into account all the different eras and all the different aspects of the game’s evolution, but there are also the rules to deal with.
According to the National Football Foundation, to shorten and sum up the criteria:
1. A player has to have been a First Team All-American on a list recognized by the NCAA. No Joe Montana.
2. He’s eligible ten years after his final year of playing.
3. Post-career citizenship is factored into the voting, and an extra boost is given to those who earned a degree. O.J. Simpson is still in.
4. Players must have played within the last 50 years. So to be eligible for the 2018 class, the player had to have finished his career by 1968.
5. A coach is eligible three years after retiring or if he’s older than 70, and active coaches are eligible after age 75. He had to be a head coach for at least ten years and had to have coaches at least 100 games with a .600 minimum winning percentage.
All player bullet points taken from the National Football Foundation footballfoundation.org.
FBS Coaches On The Ballot
6. Pete Cawthon Sr., Austin College [Texas] (1923-27), Texas Tech (1930-40)
– Led Tech to four Border Conference titles in 11 seasons at the helm
– Led 1938 team to 10-0 regular season and the school’s first-ever Cotton Bowl appearance
– Boasts highest win percentage (69.3) among Tech coaches with terms of three years or more.
5. Jim Carlen, West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74), South Carolina (1975-81)
– Led teams to eight bowl games and 13 winning seasons in 16 years as head coach
– 1973 National Coach of the Year
– Three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year
Coached Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers at South Carolina.
4. Billy Jack Murphy, Memphis (1958-71)
– All-time winningest coach in Memphis history
– Had 11 winning seasons and retired as the 15th winningest coach in the nation
– Member of the Memphis Hall of Fame and Mississippi State Hall of Fame.
3. Darryl Rogers-Cal State East Bay [formerly Cal State Hayward] (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84)
– Took Fresno State to two bowl games
– Achieved an unprecedented national ranking at San Jose State
– Was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year by Sporting News in 1978
– Won the Big Ten title in 1978.
2. Frank Beamer, Murray State (1981-86), Virginia Tech (1987-2015)
– Winningest active coach in FBS history at the time of his retirement
– Registered 23 consecutive bowl appearances in his final 23 seasons, including a trip to the 1999 National Championship game
– Guided teams to eight conference titles (one at Murray State) and posted 13 seasons with 10 or more wins.
1. Mack Brown-Appalachian State (1983), Tulane (1985-87), North Carolina (1988-97), Texas (1998-2013)
-Led teams to 20 consecutive winning seasons (1990-2009) and had most overall wins (225) nationally from 1990-2013
– Guided Tar Heels to a 21-3 record during last two seasons at UNC
– Led Texas to the 2005 National Championship, two Big 12 titles and to 162 consecutive weeks ranked in the AP poll (2000-10).
Candidates for the Hall of the Very, Very Good
These players were fantastic talents for their respective schools, and some might consider them legends, but it’s pushing it to put them in the Hall of Fame category.
75. Phil Olsen, Utah State, Defensive End
– 1969 consensus First Team All-American
– 1969 team captain and Utah State Athlete of the Year
– Selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl
– Brother of College Football Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen.
74. Bob Stein, Minnesota, Defensive End
– 1967 First Team All-American
– Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who led Gophers to co-share of the 1967 Big Ten title
– 1969 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
73. Ed McCaffrey, Stanford, Wide Receiver
-1990 First Team All-American and two-time Stanford MVP
-1990 First Team All-Pac-10 receiver who led the Cardinal in receiving yards three-of-four years
-Ranks in the top 10 all-time at Stanford with 146 career receptions and 2,333 career receiving yards.
72. Cliff Powell, Arkansas, Linebacker
-1969 First Team All-American who led Hogs to consecutive Sugar Bowls in 1969 and 1970
-Two-time First Team All-Southwest Conference selection, helping Arkansas to co-share of league title in 1968
-Twice led team in tackles and set Razorback records for career tackles (367) and single-season tackles (134).
71. Gregg Carr, Auburn, Linebacker
-1984 consensus First Team All-American and NFF National Scholar-Athlete
-Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1984 SEC Lineman of the Year
-Twice led Auburn in tackles, helping the Tigers to the 1983 SEC title and three consecutive bowl wins.
70. Marc Zeno, Tulane, Wide Receiver
– 1987 First Team All-American who broke the NCAA Division I record for career receiving yards (3,725)
– Led team in receiving three-straight years and holds nearly every school receiving record, including career receptions (236) and 100-yard games (17)
– Two-time First Team All-South Independent selection.
69. Rich Diana, Yale, Running Back
– Named a First Team All-American in 1981 and finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting the same year
– Two-time First Team All-Ivy League selection
– Named a First Team Academic All-American and an NFF National Scholar, Athlete in 1981.
68. John Didion, Oregon State, Center
– Two-time All-American, earning unanimous First Team honors in 1968
– Member of Oregon State team known as the “Giant Killers”
– 1968 First Team All-Pac-8 selection who helped team finish in the AP Top 20 all three years of career.
67. Mark Bavaro, Notre Dame, Tight End
– One of only two Notre Dame tight ends all-time to be named a First Team All-American by the AP (1984)
-Led Irish in both receptions (32) and receiving yards (395) as a senior
-Still ranks in the top 10 among Notre Dame tight ends with 55 receptions and 771 receiving yards in his career.
66. Jess Lewis, Oregon State, Defensive Tackle
-Named First Team All-American in 1967
-Played in the College All-Star Game, East-West Shrine Game and Coaches All-America Bowl in 1970
-Two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1967, 1969).
65. Ernie Jennings, Air Force, Wide Receiver
– 1970 consensus First Team All-American, finishing eighth in 1970 Heisman Trophy voting
– Led Air Force to 1971 Sugar Bowl berth
– Holds every single-season and career receiving record at Air Force.
64. Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech, Linebacker
-1991 First Team All-America pick
-Two-time First Team All-ACC, leading Jackets to the national championship and an 11-0-1 record in 1990
-28 career sacks rank 14th all-time in ACC history.
63. Ron Rivera, California, Linebacker
– 1983 consensus First Team All-American
– Lombardi Award finalist in 1983 and named East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player
– Selected as Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1983
– Led team in tackles from 1981-83.
62. Chris Ward, Ohio State, Offensive Tackle
-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-’76, unanimous-’77)
-Three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Buckeyes to at least a share of four conference titles
-Blocked for Archie Griffin during second Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.
61. Tony Gonzalez, California, Tight End
– 1996 consensus First Team All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 selection
– Holds Cal record for receptions in a bowl game (9 in 1996 Aloha Bowl)
– Posted 89 receptions for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns during career.
60. Michael Westbrook, Colorado, Wide Receiver
-1994 consensus First Team All-American who led Buffs to four bowl berths and four top 20 finishes
-Two-time All-Big Eight performer, leading CU to a share of the 1991 league title
-Still holds eight school records and caught a 64-yard game-winning pass in the 1994 “Miracle at Michigan.”
59. Jacob Green, Texas A&M, Defensive Lineman
-1979 First Team All-American and two-time All-SWC selection
-Set A&M records for career sacks (37) and single-season sacks (20 in 1979)
-Led Aggies to berths in the 1977 Bluebonnet and 1978 Hall of Fame bowls.
58. Ken Norton Jr., UCLA, Linebacker
– 1987 First Team All-American, leading Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins
– Member of the 1985 conference championship team
– Led team in tackles in 1986 (106) and in 1987 (125) and ranks sixth in school history with 339 career tackles.
57. Matt Stinchcomb, Georgia, Offensive Tackle
– Two-time First Team All-America selection (consensus, ’98)
– Two-time First Team All-SEC and 1998 recipient of Jacobs Blocking Trophy
– 1998 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient and NFF National Scholar, Athlete.
56. Cade McNown, UCLA, Quarterback
-1998 Consensus First Team All-American and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award recipient
-1998 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year who led UCLA to consecutive Pac-10 titles in 1997 (shared) and 1998-Holds numerous school records.
55. Al Worley, Washington, Defensive Back
– 1968 consensus First Team All-American who holds NCAA record for single-season interceptions (14)
– 1968 First Team All-Pac-8 selection who held conference record for interceptions in a game (4)
– 1968 team co-captain and University of Washington Athlete of the Year.
54. Dan Hampton, Arkansas, Defensive Tackle
– 1978 First Team All-American and two-time All-SWC selection
– Named 1978 Houston Post Outstanding Player of the Year in the SWC, recording 18 TFL during his senior campaign
– Helped Hogs beat No. 19 Georgia in 1976 Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Oklahoma in 1978 Orange Bowl.
53. Trevor Cobb, Rice, Running Back
– 1991 consensus First Team All-American and Doak Walker Award winner
– 1992 Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year who finished career as the Owls’ all-time leading rusher (4,948 yards)
– Rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and set 17 school records.
52. Larry Burton, Purdue, Split End
– First Team All-American and Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1974 and a First Team All-Big Ten selection
– Led the team in receiving in both 1973 and 1974
– Named team captain and team MVP in 1974.
51. Matt Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh, Quarterback
– 1977 First Team All-American who led the Panthers to a 1976 national title
– Led Pitt to three consecutive bowl wins, earning MVP honors in the 1977 Sugar and 1977 Gator bowls
– Finished Pitt career ranked second all-time (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,916 career yards of total offense.
50. Morten Andersen, Michigan State, Placekicker
– 1981 First Team All-American who left MSU as the Big Ten’s all-time leader in field goals (45)
– Set still-standing conference record with 63-yard field goal in 1981 and was a three-time All-Big Ten performer
– Led the Spartans in scoring for three seasons.
Candidates for the Hall of Maybe
A strong case could be made that any of these players belong in the Hall of Fame discussion.
49. Martin Gramatica, Kansas State, Kicker
-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1997-1997
– Lou Groza Award winner and two-time First Team All-Big 12 selection
-Set NCAA record with a 65-yard field goal (without a tee) and holds 22 scoring records at K-State.
48. Ray Lewis, Miami, Linebacker
– 1995 First Team All-American and Butkus Award runner-up
– Led Canes to Fiesta and Orange Bowl appearances and ranks sixth all-time at Miami with 388 career tackles
– Two-time First Team All-Big East performer who twice led the league in tackles.
47. Buddy McClinton, Auburn, Defensive Back
– Three-time All-American who earned consensus First Team honors in 1969
– Auburn’s all-time leader in interceptions (18) and holds record for interceptions in a season (9 in 1969)
– Set SEC career interception record (18).
46. Shawn Moore, Virginia, Quarterback
-1990 First Team All-American, finishing fourth in 1990 Heisman voting and leading UVA to its first-ever No. 1 ranking
-1990 ACC Player of the Year and 1989 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, who led Cavaliers to a share of the 1989 ACC title
-Finished career with virtually every UVA passing and total offense record.
45. Jason Hanson, Washington State, Placekicker
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1989
– Holds numerous NCAA, conference and school records, including longest field goal without a tee (62 yards) and career field goals of 40 yards or more (39)
– Four-time All-Pac-10 selection and 1991 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
44. Taylor Stubblefield, Purdue, Wide Receiver
-2004 consensus First Team All-American who set the NCAA record for career receptions (316)
-Two-time All-Big Ten selection who led conference in receptions for three consecutive seasons from 2002-04
-2004 Biletnikoff finalist who set Sun Bowl record with 196 receiving yards in 2001.
43. Marcus Harris, Wyoming, Wide Receiver
-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors as a senior
-1996 Biletnikoff Award winner who finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and twice led the nation in receiving yards per game
-1996 WAC Offensive Co-Player of the Year who set NCAA record with 4,518 career receiving yards.
42. Steve Wisniewski, Penn State, Offensive Guard
– 1988 First Team All-American
– Member of 1986 12-0 national championship team
– Helped Blair Thomas rush for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1987 and D.J. Dozier attain First Team All-America honors in 1986.
41. Troy Vincent, Wisconsin, Defensive Back
– 1991 First Team All-American and runner-up for the 1991 Thorpe Award
– Two-time All-Big Ten selection and 1991 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year
– Finished career as Wisconsin’s leader in punt return yards (773) and passes defended (31).
40. Anthony Poindexter, Virginia, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1998
– Three-time All-ACC pick and 1998 ACC Defensive Player of the Year
– Holds five school records and finished career with 342 tackles and 12 interceptions.
39. Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh, Running Back
– 1987 consensus First Team All-American who led the nation in rushing his final season and finished fifth in Heisman voting
– Left Pitt as the second-leading rusher in school history (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,086 career rushing yards
– Rushed for at least 100 yards in every game of 1987 season.
38. Kevin Faulk, LSU, Running Back
-1996 First Team All-American who finished career ranked fourth in NCAA history in all-purpose yards (6,833)
-Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1995 SEC Freshman of the Year
– Set 11 school records during career and became first LSU back to average 100 yards per game during entire career.
37. Paul Palmer, Temple, Running Back
– 1986 unanimous First Team All-American
– Led the nation in rushing yards (1,866), rushing yards per game (169.6) and All-purpose yards (2,633) in 1986
– Set 23 school records and was named ECAC Player of the Year in 1986.
36. Jake Plummer, Arizona State, Quarterback
– 1996 First Team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year
– Led 1996 team to an undefeated regular season and first Rose Bowl appearance since 1986
– Four-year starter and two-time ASU MVP who threw for more than 2,000 yards in three consecutive seasons (8,827 career passing yards).
35. Leslie O’Neal, Oklahoma State, Defensive Tackle
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1985
– Three-time All-Big Eight selection and 1984 Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year, who led Pokes to three, straight bowl berths
– Left OSU as school leader in career sacks (34), career TFL (47) and single, season sacks (16).
34. Torry Holt, N.C. State, Wide Receiver
– 1998 consensus First Team All-American who was the only receiver in the top 10 of the 1998 Heisman Trophy voting
– 1998 ACC Player of the Year who earned First Team All-Conference honors as a receiver and punt returner
– NC State’s all-time leader in receiving (3,379) and all-purpose yards (1,979).
33. Lorenzo White, Michigan State, Running Back
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous (’85) and consensus (’87) honors
– Led State to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win
– Led nation in rushing (1985), first MSU player to lead team in rushing four-straight seasons.
32. Kenneth Davis, TCU, Running Back
– 1984 unanimous First Team All-American who finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting
– Led the nation in yards per carry (7.6) and ranked second nationally in rushing yards (1,611) in 1984
– 1984 Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year who boasted nine 100-yard games in career.
31. Byron Hanspard, Texas Tech, Running Back
– 1996 unanimous First Team All-American and recipient of the Doak Walker Award
– Tech’s all-time leader in rushing (4,219) who tied NCAA record by reaching 1,000, yard mark by fifth game of 1996 season
– Three-time All-Big 12 selection, helping Red Raiders to first Cotton Bowl since 1938.
30. Lomas Brown, Florida, Offensive Tackle
– 1984 consensus First Team All-American and two-time All-SEC performer
– Led Gators to three consecutive bowl berths and top 10 national final rankings in 1983 and 1984
– Recipient of Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s top blocker in 1984.
29. Jim Otis, Ohio State, Fullback
– Named consensus First Team All-American in 1969
– Member of the 1968 National Championship team
– Named First Team All-Big Ten conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two conference titles
– Led the team in rushing three times.
Candidates for the Hall of Yeah, They Should Probably Be In
Yeah, fine … they should be in when all is said and done.
28. Jumbo Elliott, Michigan, Offensive Tackle
– Two-time First Team All-American (consensus, ’87)
– Two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and member of 1986 Big Ten Co-Champions
– Paved the way for Jamie Morris, who had three-straight 1,000-yard seasons.
27. Zach Wiegert, Nebraska, Offensive Tackle
– 1994 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Outland Trophy
– Led Huskers to 1994 National Championship and 1993 National Championship game appearance
– Three-time All-Big Eight selection who led Nebraska to league titles every year of career.
26. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech, Wide Receiver
-Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous in 2006) and winner of the 2006 Biletnikoff Award
-Three-time First Team All-ACC pick, earning 2006 ACC Player of the Year and 2004 ACC Rookie of the Year honors
-Still holds six Tech records, including career touchdown receptions (28) and career receiving yards (2,927).
25. E.J. Junior, Alabama, Defensive End
-1980 unanimous First Team All-American and member of two national championship teams (1978, 1979)
– Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1980 SEC Lineman of the Year, who led Tide to two conference titles
– Member of fabled goal-line stand defense vs. Penn State in 1979 Sugar Bowl.
24. David Fulcher, Arizona State, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in both 1984 and 1985
– Three-time All-Pac-10 selection who led ASU to 1985 Holiday Bowl berth
– Recorded 14 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and 286 tackles in career.
23. Moe Gardner, Illinois, Defensive Tackle
– Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous, ‘89, consensus, ’90)
– 1990 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 1989 Big Ten Lineman of the Year
– Three-time First Team All-Conference pick and set school record for career TFL (57).
22. Simeon Rice, Illinois, Linebacker
– Two-time First Team All-American and three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection
– Holds conference and school record for career sacks (44.5) and Illini record for career tackles for loss (69)
– Set school record for single, season sacks (16).
21. Mark Carrier, USC, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American (1988, 89) – unanimous in 1989
1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner
– Two-time First Team All-Conference selection
– Led the Pac-10 in interceptions in 1989 with seven.
20. Patrick Willis, Ole Miss, Linebacker
– 2006 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the 2006 Butkus Award, who led the nation in solo tackles (90) as a junior
– 2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-SEC selection, twice leading the league in tackles
– Finished career ranked sixth all-time at Ole Miss with 355 career tackles.
19. Aaron Taylor, Notre Dame, Offensive Tackle
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in ’92 and unanimous in ’93
– 1993 Lombardi Award winner and named College Interior Lineman of the Year by Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio)
– Led Irish to four bowl games.
18. Rick Leach, Michigan, Quarterback
– 1978 First Team All-American who placed third in 1978 Heisman Trophy voting
– 1978 Big Ten MVP who led Wolverines to a share of three consecutive league titles and three consecutive Rose bowl berths
– Set Michigan record for wins by a QB (38) and held 18 school statistical records by career’s end.
17. Dana Howard, Illinois, Linebacker
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors as a senior
– 1994 Butkus Award winner and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
– School’s all-time leading tackler (595) who led team in tackles each year of career.
16. Rickey Dixon, Oklahoma, Defensive Back
– 1987 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the 1987 Thorpe Award
– Two-time First Team All-Big Eight selection and member of 1985 National Championship team
– Finished career as school leader in single-season interceptions (9) and ranked second all-time with 17 career interceptions.
15. Tim Couch, Kentucky, Quarterback
– 1998 consensus First Team All-American who finished fourth in Heisman voting in 1998 and ninth in 1997
– 1998 SEC Player of the Year who led Cats to first win over Alabama in 75 years
– Set seven NCAA, 14 SEC and 26 school records.
14. Kerry Collins, Penn State, Quarterback
– 1994 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards
– Led the nation in passing efficiency (172.9) as a senior and named 1994 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
– Led Lions to 12-0 record, a Big Ten title and No. 2 final ranking in 1994.
Hall of Famers. No Debate.
Among the greatest players in college football history, or at the very least, are special enough to be in the Hall of Fame without question. Only ten get to go on the ballot, but all these players have to be in.
And before you get grouchy at this in any way, remember, this isn’t about who the most talented players were as much as it is about the most accomplished ones. You get bumped up if you win a Heisman and score extra points for taking a team to a national title.
13. Robert Gallery, Iowa, Offensive Tackle
– 2003 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the 2003 Outland Trophy
– Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year as a senior
– Led Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title, Orange Bowl appearance and a No. 8 final ranking in 2002.
12. Antwaan Randle El, Indiana, Quarterback
– 2001 First Team consensus All-American
– First player in FBS history to pass for 6,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in career
– Rushed for more yards than any QB in FBS history upon conclusion of career.
11. Troy Polamalu, USC, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 2002
– Two-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection and finalist for the Thorpe Award as a senior
– Two-year captain and 2001 USC MVP, who led Trojans to two bowl berths and a share of the 2002 Pac-10 title.
10. Keith Byars, Ohio State, Running Back
– Unanimous First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy runner, up who led nation in rushing (1,764), all-purpose yards (2,441) and scoring (144) in 1984
– 1984 Big Ten MVP and two-time All-Big Ten selection
– Ranks fifth all-time at OSU with 4,369 career all-purpose yards and 3,200 career rushing yards.
9. Michael Bishop, Kansas State, Quarterback
– 1998 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the Davey O’Brien Award
– 1998 Heisman Trophy runner-up who led Cats to 1998 Big 12 North title and berth in conference championship
– Set 14 conference and 34 school records and boasts longest pass play in K-State history (97 yards).
8. Terrell Buckley, Florida State, Defensive Back
– 1991 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Thorpe Award
– Led the nation in interceptions (12) and return yards (501) during final season at FSU
– Seminoles’ all-time leader in career interceptions (21) who returned four interceptions and three punts for touchdowns in career.
7. Aaron Taylor, Nebraska, Center/Guard
– Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-’96, unanimous-’97) and 1997 Outland Trophy winner.
– Led Huskers to three national titles and three consecutive league titles.
– Led Nebraska to three undefeated seasons and is only Husker player in history to earn All-America honors at two positions.
6. Warren Sapp, Miami, Defensive Tackle
– 1994 unanimous First Team All-American who finished sixth in Heisman voting
– Recipient of the 1994 Lombardi and Nagurski awards and named Big East Defensive Player of the Year
– Led Canes to national title game appearance in 1995.
5. Ed Reed. Miami, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-’00, unanimous-’01) who led Miami to four bowl wins, including the national championship at the 2002 Rose Bowl
– 2001 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, leading Canes to consecutive Big East titles
– Miami’s all-time leader in career INTs (21) and career INT return yards (389).
4. Raghib Ismail, Notre Dame, Wide Receiver
– Two-time First Team All-American earning consensus honors in 1989 and unanimous laurels in 1990
– Walter Camp Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1990
– Led ND to national championship at the Fiesta Bowl and two Orange Bowls
3. Eric Crouch, Nebraska, Quarterback
-2001 Heisman, Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien Award winner who led Huskers to 2001 national title game at the Rose Bowl
– Finished career as NCAA record holder for career rushing TDs by a quarterback (59)
– Led team to 42-9 record and four bowl berths.
2. Eric Dickerson, SMU, Running Back
– Named unanimous First Team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1982
– Twice named SWC Player of the Year, he holds 14 SMU records including career rushing yards (4,450).
1. Charles Woodson, Michigan, Defensive Back
– Two-time First Team All-American
– 1997 Heisman Trophy winner
– Recipient of the 1997 Walter Camp, Bronco Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe awards
– Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year who led Wolverines to national and conference titles in 1997.