Candidates for the Hall of Maybe
A strong case could be made that any of these players belong in the Hall of Fame discussion.
50. 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.
49. Eric Bieniemy, Colorado, Running Back
– 1990 unanimous First Team All-American and finished third in 1990 Heisman voting
– Played in two national championships, leading Buffs to 1990 national title
– Two-time All-Big Eight pick, still holding eight CU records.
48. Dan Neil, Texas, Offensive Lineman
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors as a senior
– Helped Horns offense rank 11th nationally in total offense (451.8 ypg) and 12th in scoring offense (34.4 ppg) in 1996
– Two-time All-Conference selection who set the UT record for consecutive starts.
47. Al Wilson, Tennessee, Linebacker
-1998 consensus First Team All-American who led the Vols to the inaugural BCS national title in 1998
– Helped Tennessee to four postseason berths and four AP top 10 finishes
– Two-time All-SEC performer led Vols to consecutive SEC titles (1997, 1998) and only lost three conference games in career.
46. 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.
45. 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).
44. 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.
43. 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.
42. Pete Mitchell, Boston College, Tight End
– Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1994
– Two-time First Team All-Big East performer, leading the conference in catches his last two seasons
– Ranks second all-time at BC in career receptions (190) and third all-time in career receiving yards (2,388).
41. Mark Messner, Michigan, Defensive Tackle
– 1988 unanimous First Team All-American who was a Lombardi Award finalist
– 1988 Big Ten Player of the Year and four-time First Team All-Big Ten selection
– Led Wolverines to four bowl berths and named MVP of 1985 Fiesta Bowl.
40. 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.
39. Bob Golic, Notre Dame, Linebacker
– Named unanimous First Team All-America and was a finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1978
– Co-holder of UND’s single-game record for tackles with 26 vs. Michigan in 1978
– Ranks second in school history with 479 career tackles.