The National Football Foundation released its College Football Hall of Fame ballot. The Big Ten is well-represented with 21 players among the 77 on the ballot. There are five coaches on the ballot, with one having Big Ten ties: Michigan State coach Darryl Rogers (1976-79).
The Hall of Fame Class will be announced live in New York City during a noon press conference on May 7 and inducted at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 10, 2013, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Here are the Big Ten players on the ballot, with players from each Big Ten school represented except for Northwestern and Illinois:
- Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska
- Erick Anderson, LB, Michigan
- Larry Burton, WR, Purdue
- Dave Butz, DT, Purdue
- Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State
- Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska
- Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin
- D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn State
- Jumbo Elliott, OT, Michigan
- Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska
- Kirk Gibson, WR, Michigan State
- Rob Lytle, RB, Michigan
- Tom Nowatzke, FB, Indiana
- Jim Otis, FB, Ohio State
- Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State
- Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana
- Percy Snow, LB, Michigan State
- Bob Stein, DE, Minnesota
- Andre Tippett, DE, Iowa
- Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State
- Steve Wisniewski, G, Penn State
The Big Ten players who I think have the best credentials are Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El, Ohio State’s Orlando Pace, Penn States’ D.J. Dozier, Nebraska’s Trev Alberts, Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier, Michigan State’s Percy Snow and Lorenzo White. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if all nine of those players get enshrined at some point in time.
Here the NFF bios for each Big Ten player on the ballot.
Trev Alberts, Nebraska-Linebacker-Named unanimous First Team All-America, BIG-8 Defensive Player of the Year and Academic All-America in 1993…Recipient of the 1993 Butkus Award and two-time First Team All-Conference pick…NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1993.
Erick Anderson, Michigan-Linebacker-1991 Butkus Award winner who led Wolverines to four bowl games and top 10 finishes all four seasons of career… 1991 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year and only player in UM history to lead team in tackles all four seasons.
Larry Burton, Purdue-Split End-Named 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.
Dave Butz, Purdue-Defensive Tackle-1972 consensus First Team All-America… Finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1972 and named First Team All-Conference…Named Defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl.
Tom Cousineau, Ohio State-Linebacker-Two-time consensus First Team All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer… Recorded 572 career tackles, ranking second all-time in OSU history… Held nine school records at career’s end, still holding six.
Eric Crouch, Nebraska-Quarterback-2001 Heisman, Walter Camp, and Davey O’Brien Award winner who led Huskers to 2001 national title game…Holds NCAA record for career rushing TDs by a quarterback (59)…Led team to 42-9 record and four bowl berths.
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin-Running Back-All-time leading rusher in FBS history who won the 1999 Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards…Three-time First Team All-American…First player in college history to rush for more than 7,000 yards in career.
D.J. Dozier, Penn State-Running Back- Named 1986 consensus First Team All-America 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.
Jumbo Elliott, Michigan-Offensive Tackle- Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-’87)… Two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and member of 1986 Big Ten Co-Champions…Paved the way for Jamie Morris, who had three-straight 1,000-yard seasons.
Tommie Frazier, Nebraska-Quarterback-1995 consensus First Team All-America and Johnny Unitas award winner… 1995 Heisman trophy runner-up and Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year… Led Huskers to back-to-back perfect national championship seasons in 1994 and ’95.
Kirk Gibson, Michigan State-Wide Receiver-Named First Team All-America, led Big Ten in receiving in league play and helped the Spartans to a Big Ten Co-Championship and a No.12 national ranking in 1978…Played MLB for 17 seasons.
Robert Lytle, Michigan-Running Back-Named consensus All-America in 1976…Finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting… Named Big Ten MVP in 1976 and led UM to two conference championships.
Tom Nowatzke, Indiana-Fullback-Named First Team All-America in 1964…A two-time All-Conference selection (1963-64), he led the Big Ten in rushing in 1963…Played in the East/West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and Coaches All-American Game.
Jim Otis, Ohio State-Fullback-Named consensus First Team All-America in 1969…Member of the 1968 National Championship team…Named First Team All-Big Ten conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two conference titles…Led the team in rushing three times.
Orlando Pace, Ohio State-Offensive Tackle-Two-time unanimous First Team All-American and first player in history to win Lombardi Trophy twice…1996 Outland Trophy winner who led Buckeyes to share of 1996 Big Ten title… Did not allow a sack during his last two seasons.
Antwaan Randle El, Indiana-Quarterback-2001 First Team Consensus 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.
Percy Snow, Michigan State-Linebacker-1989 unanimous First Team All-America and 1989 Butkus Award winner… Led MSU to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win… Ranks second all-time in career tackles (473).
Bob Stein, Minnesota-Defensive End-1967 First Team All-American… Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who led Gophers to co-share of the 1967 Big Ten title…1969 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Andre Tippett, Iowa-Defensive End-1981 Consensus First Team All-American who led Hawkeyes to 1982 Rose Bowl berth…Two-time First Team All-Big Ten performer, leading Iowa to 1981 Big Ten championship…Holds Iowa record for TFL yardage (153 yards/20 TFL).
Lorenzo White, Michigan State-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-America, earning unanimous (’85) and consensus (’87) honors…Led State to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win…Led nation in rushing (1985), first MSU player to lead team in rushing four-straight seasons.
Steve Wisniewski, Penn State-Offensive Guard-1988 First Team All-America…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.