Should "Prime Time" / "Neon Deion" Sanders be in the College Football Hall of Fame? I'm planning to vote in the affirmative. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Recently, I received a ballot to vote for the 2011 class for the College Football Hall of Fame. It's quite an extensive list of candidates, including all divisions of college football all the way down to NAIA. Some of these choices are pretty easy to make; others are a little tougher. As such, I'm looking for feedback to help me make my final selections.
First, the no-brainers
Tommie Frazier (QB, Nebraska, 1992-95). My only question was "how the heck is Tommie Frazier not already in?" Even if I weren't a Husker homer, I think this one is a slam-dunk selection.
Will Shields (OG, Nebraska, 1989-92). My Husker homer instinct is may be getting the better of me here. He was a four year starter on the offensive line. Considering how the Pipeline worked in those days, that's quite a remarkable achievement. Oh, and he was a unanimous first team All-American and Outland Trophy winner in 1992.
Willie Roaf (OL, Louisiana Tech, 1989-1992). I may be voting this more on his pro career, but when you earn all-American and are a finalist for the Outland while playing at Louisiana Tech, you probably deserve this one.
(RB, Michigan State, 1984-1987). Led Sparty in rushing four straight seasons. In 1985, White was the first Big Ten running back to top the 2000 yard mark as a sophomore. First team all-American in 1985 and 1987.
Deion Sanders (DB, Florida State, 1985-1988). Sanders was one of the more electric punt returners in college football at the time, and twice was a first-team all-American. He started four seasons in football, as well as three seasons of baseball, and even ran track. He once ran a leg of a 4x100 relay in track sandwiched between games of a baseball doubleheader.Then, there are the guys who caught my attention, but I'm not 100% sure of. So here they are, in alphabetical order. I need to vote for six of them:
Eric Bieniemy (RB, Colorado) Led the Buffies to the 1990 national title. Unanimous all-American that season, finishing third in the Heisman voting. But he's a Colorado player.
Brian Bosworth (LB, Oklahoma) Two time consensus all-American and Butkus award winner in 1985 and 1986. His accomplishments would earn make him a no-brainer if it weren't for getting suspended for using steroids prior to the 1987 Orange Bowl.
Marv Cook (TE, Iowa) First team all-American in 1988, and holds school record for most catches by a tight end.
Bobby Douglass (QB, Kansas) First team all-American and finished seventh in the Heisman voting in 1968. By the time he left Lawrence, he held just about every Kansas record in total offense, rushing, and passing. He still is in the top ten at Kansas in many of these categories.
Joe Hamilton (QB, Georgia Tech) Four year starter, earning consensus all-American honors in 1999 as well as runner up in the Heisman Trophy race. I remember him as one of the more exciting players in football at that time.
Bobby Humphrey (RB, Alabama) All-American in 1986 and 1987. Rushed for nearly 5000 yards in his career with 40 touchdowns.
Russell Maryland (DT, Miami) Two national championships in college, and an all-American and Outland Trophy winner in 1990. That season, he totaled 96 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
Jonathan Ogden (OT, UCLA) Started four years and was a first team all-American and Outland Trophy winner in 1995.
Sandy Stephens (QB, Minnesota) Led Gophers to 1960 National Championship and the only Gopher quarterback to play in the Rose Bowl. Nation's first African-American all-American quarterback, and finished fourth in the 1961 Heisman voting.
Derrick Thomas (LB, Alabama) 1988 all-American and Butkus Award winner. Still holds the single-season sack record in division 1-A with 27, and previously held the career mark with 52.
Also in the voting are coaches. My current plan is to vote for Fisher DeBerry from (Air Force, 1984-2006) and (Oklahoma State, 1979-83; Miami 1984-88). I briefly considered Lloyd Carr (Michigan, 1995-2007) and Bill McCarney (Colorado, 1982-1994) as well.
So help me out. Who should I vote for in this balloting?