Peyton Manning sure feels like a lock for the College Hall of Fame.
The former NFL MVP and Tennessee quarterback leads the list of nominees for the 2017 induction class for the college football hall. The 2017 class will be inducted in January before the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Joining Manning on the ballot for the first time is former Cal tight end Tony Gonzalez, former San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk and a host of others. In a fun coincidence, the hall of fame had Archie Manning give the quote in the statement announcing the nominees.
“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “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.”
Manning was 863-1,381 passing for 11,201 yards, 89 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in four seasons at Tennessee. Gonzalez had 89 catches for 1,302 yards in three seasons at Cal while Faulk ran for 4,589 yardsin three seasons and scored 62 career touchdowns.
Former South Carolina, Florida and Duke coach Steve Spurrier is on the ballot as a coach for the first time as well. He joins former South Carolina coach Jim Carlen, former Texas Tech coach Pete Cawthon, Sr., former Clemson and Arkansas coach Danny Ford, ex-Memphis coach Billy Jack Murphy, and Darryl Rodgers on the coaching balloy.
Here's the full list of player nominees:
• Morten Andersen, K, Michigan State
• Eric Bienemy, RB, Colorado
• Michael Bishop, QB, Kansas State
• Lomas Brown, OT, Florida
• Terrell Buckley, DB, Florida State
• Larry Burton, SE, Purdue
• Keith Byars, RB, Ohio State
• Freddie Carr, LB, UTEP
• Mark Carrier, DB, USC
• Matt Cavanaugh, QB, Pitt
• Trevor Cobb, RB, Rice
• Kerry Collins, QB, Penn State
• Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky
• Bob Crable, LB, Notre Dame
• Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska
• Brad Culpepper, DT, Florida
• Kenneth Davis, RB, TCU
• Rich Diana, RB, Yale
• Eric Dickerson, RB, SMU
• John Didion, C, Oregon State
• Mike Dirks, DT, Wyoming
• Rickey Dixon, DB, Oklahoma
• D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn State
• Tim Dwight, WR, Iowa
• Jumbo Elliott, OT, Michigan
• Marshall Faulk, RB, SDSU
• David Fulcher, DB, Arizona State
• Moe Gardner, DT, Illinois
• Kirk Gibson, WR, Michigan State
• Tony Gonzalez, TE, Cal
• Dan Hampton, DT, Arkansas
• Jason Hanson, K, Washington State
• Byron Hanspard, RB, Texas Tech
• Craig Heyward, RB, Pitt
• Torry Holy, WR, NC State
• Dana Howard, LB, Illinois
• Ken Huff, G, North Carolina
• Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama
• Rocket Ismail, WR, Notre Dame
• Ernie Jennings, WR, Air Force
• E.J. Junior, DE, Alabama
• Matt Leinart, QB, USC
• Ray Lewis, LB, Miami
• Peyton Manning, QB, Tennessee
• Buddy McClinton, DB, Auburn
• Bob McKay, T, Texas
• Mark Messner, DT, Michigan
• Dat Nguyen, LB, Texas A&M
• Ken Norton Jr., LB, UCLA
• Phil Olsen, DE, Utah State
• Leslie O'Neal, DT, Oklahoma State
• Jim Otis, FB, Ohio State
• Paul Palmer, RB, Temple
• Jake Plummer, QB, Arizona State
• Anthony Poindexter, DB, Virginia
• Troy Polamalu, DB, USC
• Antwaan Randle-El, QB, Indiana
• Simeon Rice, LB, Illinois
• Ron Rivera, LB, Cal
• Mike Ruth, NG, Boston College
• Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado
• Lucius Sanford, LB, Georgia Tech
• Larry Seivers, WR, Tennessee
• Bob Stein, DE, Minnesota
• Matt Stinchcomb, T, Georgia
• Aaron Taylor, T, Notre Dame
• Andre Tippett, DE, Iowa
• Jackie Walker, LB, Tennessee
• Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State
• Zach Wiegert, T, Nebraska
• Steve Wisniewski, G, Penn State
• Al Worley, DB, Washington
• Marc Zeno, WR, Tulane
In case you were wondering about the selection process, it's outlined below.
First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2017 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1967 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
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