Washington State’s Mike Utley joins Southern California Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and former New Mexico star Brian Urlacher among the players making their first appearance on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
The National Football Foundation released on Tuesday the players and coaches being considered for selection to the Hall of Fame this year. The new Hall of Fame class will be announced Jan. 8 in Arizona, where the College Football Playoff championship game will be held.
Utley was a star offensive tackle at Washington State before being drafted by the Detroit Lions. He was left paralyzed by a spine injury he suffered in a game against the Rams in 1991.
Leinart won the Heisman and led the Trojans to the national championship in 2004. Heisman winners Eric Crouch (2001) and Rashaan Salaam (1994) are also among the 76 players FBS up for election.
Urlacher was the Mountain West player of the year in 1999 before having a standout career with the Chicago Bears.
Other notable first-timers on the ballot include: Kansas State’s Michael Bishop, Florida State stars Derrick Brooks and Terrell Buckley, Penn State’s Kerry Collins, Purdue’s Rod Woodson, Texas A&M’s Dat Nguyen and Michigan State’s Morten Andersen.
Some prominent holdovers on the hall of fame ballot include: Eric Dickerson from SMU; Randall Cunningham from UNLV; Troy Davis from Iowa State; Raghib Ismail from Notre Dame; and the late Jerome Brown from Miami.
The FBS coaches up for selection to the Hall of Fame are: Jim Carlen (West Virginia, Texas Tech and South Carolina); Pete Cawthon (Austin College, Texas Tech), Danny Ford (Clemson and Arkansas), Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis); and Darryl Rogers (Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State).
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