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Kirkland Placed on 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

June 6, 2022
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IRVING, Texas (June 6, 2022) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the names on the 2023 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will deliberate and select the class. The Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.

“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the College Football Hall of Fame 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.”

The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2023, with specific details to be announced in the future.

The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2023, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2023 season.

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:

First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its 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. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether 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 2023 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1973 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 football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a potential candidate's collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.

*Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees. Veterans Committee candidates must still meet First Team All-America requirement.

Once nominated for consideration, all FBS player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame but received significant votes in the final selection, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago. The Honors Court annually reviews the Hall of Fame criteria to ensure a fair and streamlined process.

Of the 5.54 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 1,056 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 152 years. From the coaching ranks, 226 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.

 

2023 FBS PLAYER CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS

Flozell Adams, Michigan State-Offensive Tackle-1997 First Team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year…Three-time All-Big Ten performer who helped Spartans to three consecutive bowl appearances…Helped running backs rush for more than 100 yards in 21 games throughout career and allowed only two QB sacks in 1997 season.

Aaron Beasley, West Virginia-Defensive Back-1995 consensus First Team All-American led the nation in INTs (10) in 1994…Two-time First Team All-Big East selection who led WVU to an undefeated regular season and a 1993 Big East title…19 career INTs and holds two of the top five single-season PBU performances in Mountaineer history.

Eric Berry, Tennessee-Defensive Back-Two-time unanimous First Team All-American (2008-09) and winner of the 2009 Thorpe Award…2008 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-SEC selection…SEC’s all-time leader in career INT return yards (494) and single-season INT return yards (265 in 2008).

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 the Cats to 1998 Big 12 North title and berth in conference championship…Two-time all-Big 12 selection, setting 14 conference and 34 school records by career’s end.

Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State-Wide Receiver-Two-time unanimous First Team All-American and one of only two players ever to win the Biletnikoff Award twice…2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year en route to finishing fifth in Heisman Trophy voting…2012 Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP holds NCAA record for consecutive 100-yard receiving games (14).

Jeff Bregel, USC-Offensive Guard-Two-time consensus First Team All-American and a 1986 NFF National Scholar-Athlete…Two-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection, leading USC to the 1984 conference title and a Rose Bowl victory…Earned the 1985 Morris Trophy as the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman.

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.

Reggie Bush, USC-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 2004 and unanimous accolades in 2005...Named the 2005 Walter Camp Player of the Year and won the 2005 Doak Walker Award…Two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year who led the Trojans to back-to-back national championships.

Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma-Linebacker-Two-time consensus First Team All-American and 2001 Butkus Award winner…OU’s all-time leader in TFL (59) helped Sooners to the BCS National Championship at the 2001 Orange Bowl…2000 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and four-time All-Big 12 performer posted 431 career tackles.

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.

Mark Carrier, USC-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American (1988-89), earning unanimous honors in 1989…1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back…Two-time First Team All-Conference selection…Led the Pac-10 in interceptions in 1989 with seven.

Ki-Jana Carter, Penn State-Running Back-1994 unanimous First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up…Earned MVP honors at the 1995 Rose Bowl, helping the Lions finish 12-0 with a No. 2 national ranking…Two-time All-Big Ten selection led the league in rushing (1,539) and scoring (138 points) during prolific 1994 season.

Russell Carter, SMU-Defensive Back-1983 unanimous First Team All-American who helped SMU to consecutive top five final rankings in 1981 (No. 5, 10-1-0) and 1982 (No. 2, 11-0-1)…Three-time All-SWC performer led Mustangs to consecutive league titles in 1981-82…SMU’s all-time career leader in interceptions (18).

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.

Dallas Clark, Iowa-Tight End-2002 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end…Two-time All-Big Ten selection who helped Iowa to a share of the 2002 Big Ten title and its first-ever 11-win season (2002)…Holds record for longest pass reception in school history (95 yards).

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.

Brad Culpepper, Florida-Defensive Tackle-1991 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the NFF Campbell Trophy® as the nation’s top scholar-athlete…Two-time All-SEC selection who led Gators to first-ever SEC title in 1991…Ranks sixth all-time at Florida with 47.5 career TFL, a school record among defensive lineman.

Ken Dorsey, Miami (FL)-Quarterback-2002 First Team All-American who led the Canes to back-to-back BCS Championship games, winning the national title his junior season…Two-time Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Year and 2001 Maxwell Player of the Year…Left Miami as the school record holder in career total offense and passing yards.

D.J. Dozier, Penn State-Running Back- Named 1986 consensus First Team All-American and led PSU to perfect 12-0 season and national championship (1986)…Finished eighth in 1986 Heisman voting…First PSU back to lead the team in rushing for four consecutive seasons.

Vaughn Dunbar, Indiana-Running Back-1991 unanimous First Team All-American who led the nation in rushing (1,805) and finished sixth in Heisman voting…1991 First Team All-Big Ten selection, leading the conference with 150.4 ypg…Team MVP posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and led the Hoosiers to two bowl games.

Warrick Dunn, Florida State-Running Back-1996 First Team All-American and 1995 Third Team All-American who led the Noles to the 1993 national title…Three-time First Team All-ACC performer led the league with 8.7 ppg in 1995…Only FSU rusher in history to gain more than 1,000 yards in three-consecutive seasons.

Dwight Freeney, Syracuse-Defensive End-2001 unanimous First Team All-American who holds the NCAA record for career sacks per game (1.61)… 2001 Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year, finishing career as the conference’s all-time leader in single-season sacks (17.5 in 2001)…Holds the Syracuse record for career TFL (50.5).

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.

Joe Garten, Colorado-Offensive Guard-Two-time First Team All-America, garnering consensus honors in ‘89 and unanimous laurels in ’90… Led Buffs to 1990 National Championship and three-straight bowl berths… Member of two Big Eight championship teams.

Willie Gault, Tennessee-Wide Receiver-1982 First Team All-American…Led Vols to three bowl berths…Set six conference and 12 school punt / kickoff return records…Tied NCAA record for most touchdowns by kick return in a single season (3) in 1980.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford-Running Back-Unanimous First Team All-American, winner of the Doak Walker award and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2009…Led the nation in points (178), TDs (29) and rushing yards (1,871) during prolific season campaign…2009 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year who is Stanford’s all-time leader in career rushing TDs (44).

Tony Gonzalez, California-Tight End-1996 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.

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.

Kevin Hardy, Illinois-Linebacker-1995 consensus First Team All-American and Butkus Award winner…Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Illini to two bowl berths…Team captain started 45 games (second all-time among Illini LBs) and ranks fourth all-time at Illinois in sacks (18) and TFL (38).

Marvin Harrison, Syracuse-Kick Returner/Wide Receiver-1995 First Team All-American as a kick returner and 1995 Big East Special Teams Player of the Year…Three-time All-Big East selection who set a conference record with a 94-yard punt return for a TD in 1995…Left Syracuse as the school’s all-time receiving leader (2,718 yards).

Garrison Hearst, Georgia-Running Back-1992 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Doak Walker Award…Finished third in 1992 Heisman Trophy voting after leading the nation in scoring (126 points)…1992 SEC Player of the Year finished career trailing only Herschel Walker in career rushing yards (3,232) at Georgia.

Josh Heupel, Oklahoma-Quarterback-2000 consensus First Team All-American and Walter Camp Player of the Year…2000 Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the Sooners to a national title at the 2001 Orange Bowl…2000 Big 12 Player of the Year who left OU with virtually every school passing record despite only playing two seasons.

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.

Steve Hutchinson, Michigan-Offensive Lineman-2000 unanimous First Team All-American who led the Wolverines to four bowl wins, including the 1997 National Championship at the Rose Bowl…One of only seven players in conference history to be named a four-time First Team All-Big Ten selection…Three-time Big Ten champion.

Bradie James, LSU-Linebacker-2002 First Team All-American and NFF National Scholar-Athlete…Three-time All-SEC performer (First Team honors in 2001 and 2002) helped the Tigers to a 2001 conference title…2000 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP ranks second all-time in LSU history with 418 career tackles.

LaMichael James, Oregon-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous in 2010) and 2010 Doak Walker Award winner…Two-time First Team All-Conference selection finished third in 2010 Heisman voting (nation-leading 1,731 rushing yards)…Led the Ducks to two 12-win seasons, three league titles and a 2011 BCS National Championship appearance.

Sebastian Janikowski, Florida State-Placekicker-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1998 and unanimous accolades in 1999…Only two-time recipient of the Lou Groza Award (1998, 1999)…Helped FSU to consecutive BCS Championship appearances, winning the national title at the 2000 Sugar Bowl.

Derrick Johnson, Texas-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-2003, unanimous-2004) and recipient of the 2004 Butkus Award and Nagurski Trophy…2004 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and three-time First Team All-Big 12 performer…Led Horns to three 11-win seasons and ranks third all-time at UT with 458 career tackles.

Levon Kirkland, Clemson-Linebacker-1991 consensus First Team All-American and 1990 Second Team All-American…Finalist for the 1990 Butkus Award and leader of Clemson unit that led the nation in total defense…Three-time First Team All-ACC performer and 1989 Gator Bowl MVP helped the Tigers to two conference titles.

Luke Kuechly, Boston College-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous-2010, consensus-2011) won the Butkus, Nagurski and Lombardi awards in 2011…2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and three-time First Team All-ACC performer…All-time career leader in tackles (532 – 2nd NCAA) in BC and ACC history.

Antonio Langham, Alabama-Defensive Back-1993 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Jim Thorpe Award…Led Bama to four postseason berths, highlighted by the 1992 National Championship…Three-time All-SEC selection and the Tide’s all-time leader in career INTs (19).

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State-Linebacker-Three-time First Team All-American (consensus-2006, 2008; unanimous-2007)…Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year who led the Buckeyes to two national championship games and four consecutive conference titles…2007 Butkus and 2006 Nagurski recipient, leading OSU in tackles three-straight seasons.

Ryan Leaf, Washington State-Quarterback-1997 First Team All-American who finished third in Heisman Trophy voting…1997 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year led Cougars to the first league title in school history (1997) and first Rose Bowl berth in 67 years…Two-time All-Pac-10 performer set four WSU career records, including TD passes (59).

John Lee, UCLA-Placekicker-Two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1985…Boasted the NCAA’s highest career field goal percentage among players with at least 55 attempts (.859)…Two-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection who helped UCLA to three league titles and finished his career as the Bruins’ all-time scoring leader (390).

Ray Lewis, Miami (FL)-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.

Todd Lyght, Notre Dame-Defensive Back-Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1989 and consensus laurels in 1990…Led Irish to 1988 National Championship and perfect 12-0 season as well as national title game appearance in 1991 Orange Bowl…Thorpe Award finalist who posted 11 career interceptions.

Marshawn Lynch, California-Running Back-2006 First Team All-American who led Cal to a share of the 2006 Pac-10 title…2006 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year led the league in rushing (1,356), all-purpose yards (1,785) and TDs (15) that season…Two-time bowl game MVP (2005 Las Vegas, 2006 Holiday) and Cal’s all-time leader in 100-yard rushing games (17).

Jeremy Maclin, Missouri-Wide Receiver/Returner-Two-time First Team All-American (all-purpose), earning consensus honors in 2007…Two-time First Team All-Big 12 performer set conference records for all-purpose yards his first two seasons…Led the FBS with 202.4 ypg in 2008 and broke Mizzou’s record for career all-purpose yards (5,609) in just two seasons.

Terance Mathis, New Mexico-Wide Receiver-1989 consensus First Team All-American finished career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in career receptions (263) and receiving yards (4,254)…Three-time All-WAC performer, setting the league record for career all-purpose yards (6,691)…Two-time Team MVP set 24 UNM records by career’s end.

Chris McIntosh, Wisconsin-Offensive Lineman-1999 unanimous First Team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year…Key cog to offensive unit that twice led the Big Ten in rushing and helped Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne break the NCAA career rushing record…1999 Team Co-MVP capped career with consecutive Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl victories.

Bryant McKinnie, Miami (FL)-Offensive Tackle-Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 2001…2001 Outland Trophy winner led the Canes to the 2001 national title and two Big East crowns…Two-time consensus First Team All-Big East performer did not allow a sack during entire college career.

Heath Miller, Virginia-Tight End-2004 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end…Named a Third Team All-American in 2003 and Freshman All-American in 2002…Three-time All-ACC performer still holds UVA tight end records for career receptions (144), yards (1,703) and TDs (20).

Corey Moore, Virginia Tech-Defensive Lineman-Two-time First Team All-American (1999-unanimous) and winner of the 1999 Lombardi and Nagurski awards…Two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year led Hokies to 2000 National Championship Game…Leader of Hokies famed “Lunch Pail Defense” that led the nation in rushing defense (85.0 ypg).

Herman Moore, Virginia-Wide Receiver-1990 consensus First Team All-American who finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting…Holds the NCAA record for highest average gain per reception (22.0) with a minimum of 105 catches…1990 First Team All-ACC performer finished career as UVA’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,504) and TD catches (27).

Kellen Moore, Boise State-Quarterback-2010 First Team All-American finished career as the winningest starting QB (.943) in college football history…Set the NCAA record for lowest career INT percentage (.017) and tied NCAA record with four 3,000-yard passing seasons…Boise State’s all-time leading passer (14,667) earned three conference Player of the Year honors (2-WAC, 1-MWC).

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.

Haloti Ngata, Oregon-Defensive Tackle-2005 consensus First Team All-American, the Ducks’ first consensus player since 1962…Two-time All-Pac-10 selection and first player in Oregon history to be named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (2005)…2005 finalist for the Nagurski and Outland trophies and 2002 Freshman All-American.

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.

Julius Peppers, North Carolina-Defensive End-2001 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the 2001 Bednarik and Lombardi awards…2001 Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year who finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting…Two-time First Team All-ACC selection, leading the conference in TFL (24) and sacks (15) in 2000.

Paul Posluszny, Penn State-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus in 2005) and one of only two two-time winners of the Bednarik Award…2005 Butkus Award recipient and two-time First Team All-Big Ten performer…2006 NFF National Scholar-Athlete ranks second all-time at PSU with 372 career tackles.

Antwaan Randle El, Indiana-Quarterback-2001 First Team 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.

Errict Rhett, Florida-Running Back-1993 First Team All-American and first player in FBS history to rush for more than 4,100 yards and catch more than 140 passes in a career…Three-time All-SEC selection twice led the conference in rushing…1994 Sugar Bowl MVP is Florida’s all-time leader in rushing (4,163) and carries (873).

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).

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.

Matt Russell, Colorado-Linebacker-1996 consensus First Team All-American and Butkus Award winner…Two-time First Team All-Conference performer led Buffs to four-consecutive bowl berths and two top five final rankings (No. 3 – 1994, No. 5 – 1996)…CU’s all-time leader in unassisted tackles (282), ranking second all-time in total tackles (446).

Chris Samuels, Alabama-Offensive Tackle-1999 unanimous First Team All-American and Outland Trophy recipient...Two-time First Team All-SEC selection who led the Tide to a 1999 conference title…SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner who did not allow a sack the entire 1999 season and blocked for 1,000-yard rusher Shaun Alexander.

Larry Seivers, Tennessee-Wide Receiver-Two-time consensus First Team All-American in 1975 and 1976…Two-time First Team All-SEC selection…Currently ranks sixth in Tennessee history in career reception yardage (1,924) and seventh in career receptions (117).

Dewey Selmon, Oklahoma-Defensive Lineman-1975 consensus First Team All-American and member of consecutive national championship teams (1974, 1975)…Two-time First Team All-Big Eight selection who led OU to four league titles…Twice recorded 100-plus tackles in a season and part of defensive unit that allowed just 11.1 ppg from 1973-75.

Alex Smith, Utah-Quarterback-2004 First Team All-American who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting…2004 SI National Player of the Year, leading Utah to its first-ever 12-0 season, a BCS bowl victory (2005 Fiesta) and a No. 4 final national ranking…2004 MWC Offensive Player of the Year boasted two league titles and multiple school records.

Justin Smith, Missouri-Defensive Lineman-2000 First Team All-American who also earned Freshman All-America honors in 1998…Two-time First Team All-Big 12 selection who is Mizzou’s all-time leader in career (50) and single-season (24 in 2000) TFL…Graduated as the Tigers’ career leader in sacks (22.5), now ranking fourth all-time.

Kevin Smith, Texas A&M-Cornerback-1991 consensus First Team All-American and leader of Aggie unit that led the nation in total defense (222.4 ypg)…Three-time First Team All-SWC performer helped Aggies to the 1991 conference title…A&M’s all-time career leader in INTs (20), INT return yards (289) and INTs returned for a touchdown (3).

Michael Stonebreaker, Notre Dame-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-1988, unanimous-1990)…Helped the Irish to the 1988 National Championship…Responsible for game-deciding INTs vs. Michigan and Michigan State and sealed an upset of No. 2 Miami (FL) with a fourth-quarter fumble recovery during 1990 season.

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.

Tim Tebow, Florida-Quarterback-2007 consensus First Team All-American and first sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy…2009 NFF Campbell Trophy winner, two-time Maxwell Award recipient (2007, 2008) and 2007 Davey O’Brien Award winner who led the Gators to two national titles…Three-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year who set 28 school records during career.

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).

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.

Peter Warrick, Florida State-Wide Receiver-Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-1998, unanimous-1999) led FSU to a national championship at the 2000 Sugar Bowl, earning MVP honors…Two-time First Team All-ACC receiver finished career as the league’s all-time leader in receiving (3,517)…FSU’s career leader in receiving TDs (32).

Eric Weddle, Utah-Defensive Back-2006 consensus First Team All-American helped Utah to a BCS bowl victory (2005 Fiesta) and its first-ever 12-0 season (2004)...Two-time MWC Defensive Player of the Year led Utes to two league titles…2003 Freshman All-American holds school record for career forced fumbles (9) and ranks second in career INTs (18).

 

DeAngelo Williams, Memphis-Running Back-2005 First Team All-American finished seventh in Heisman voting and finished career as the NCAA leader in all-purpose yards (7,573)…Three-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Year and the league’s all-time leading rusher (6,026)…Holds virtually every career, season and game rushing record in Memphis history.

 

Luis Zendejas, Arizona State-Placekicker-1983 consensus First Team All-American who finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in scoring (380)…Four-time All-Pac-10 selection, leading the league in scoring in 1983… Boasts the highest PAT percentage (99.3%) in ASU annals and led the team in scoring his first three seasons.

 

2023 FBS COACH CANDIDATE CAPSULE BIOS

Larry Blakeney-Troy (1991-2014)-All-time winningest coach in Sun Belt Conference history…Four-time conference Coach of the Year who led the Trojans to eight conference titles (5 – Sun Belt, 3 – Southland) and seven FCS playoff appearances in eight seasons…Led Troy to four bowl games, including wins at the 2006 and 2010 New Orleans Bowl.

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.

Pete Cawthon Sr.-Austin College [TX] (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.

Larry Coker-Miami [FL] (2001-06), UTSA (2011-15)-Posted a 60-15 record at Miami, including an astounding 35-3 record in his first three seasons…Led the Canes to consecutive BCS Championship Games, winning at the 2002 Rose Bowl and becoming the first rookie head coach to lead his team to a national title since 1948…Led Miami to three Big East crowns and orchestrated a dominant 2001 offense that set a Big East record with 475 points scored in the regular season.

Ralph Friedgen-Maryland (2001-10)-Two-time ACC Coach of the Year and only ACC coach to win the conference title in his inaugural season (2001)…Rebuilt Terps’ program that had only one winning season and no bowl game appearances since 1990, leading Maryland to seven bowl games in 10 seasons at the helm…Posted 50 wins after six seasons behind only Hall of Famer Danny Ford (51).

Paul Johnson-Georgia Southern (1997-01), Navy (2002-07), Georgia Tech (2008-18)-Led Georgia Southern to two national championships and five SoCon titles, losing only 10 games during tenure…Led Navy to five-straight Commander-in-Chief’s trophies, boasting an 11-1 record vs. Air Force and Army…Three-time ACC Coach of the Year at Georgia Tech, posting three ACC title game and nine bowl appearances (including two BCS berths).

Mark Richt-Georgia (2001-15), Miami [FL] (2016-18)-Ranks first all-time at UGA with a 74% career winning percentage, ranking second only to Hall of Famer Vince Dooley in wins (145)…Led the Bulldogs to five SEC title games (winning in 2002, 2005), 15-straight bowl games and eight top 10 final national rankings…2017 Walter Camp Coach of the Year after leading the Canes to first division title since joining the ACC.

Darryl Rogers-Cal State East Bay (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…Named 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.

Frank Solich-Nebraska (1998-03), Ohio (2005-20)-Guided the Huskers to an 11-2 record and appearance in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl (2001 season)…Two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year who led Nebraska to three North Division titles and the 1999 Big 12 Championship…Winningest coach in MAC history (115 wins), boasting 12-straight non-losing seasons, 11 bowl game appearances and four MAC East crowns.

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Kirkland Placed on 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

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