Today the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced the names of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame ballot including 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks
Among the finalists named, ten former Raiders made the cut.
Steve Wisniewski, Carson Palmer, Sebastian Janikowski, Robert Gallery, David Fulcher, Willie Gault, Bob Golic, Tyrone Poole, Jack Del Rio, and Ken Norton Jr.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.4 million people have played college football and only 1,027 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 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT early next year.”
Steve Wisniewski: Prior to Wisniewski’s 13-year career with the Raiders, the guard was a three-year starter for the Penn State. 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.
Carson Palmer: Former Raiders and USC quarterback. 2002 consensus First Team All-American and Heisman Trophy recipient. 2002 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year who set conference/school career records for total offense (11,621 yds) and passing yards (11,818). Led USC to a share of the 2002 Pac-10 title and first 11-win season since 1979.
Sebastian Janikowski: One of the greatest placekickers of all time. Holds Raiders points record with 1,799. 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 Florida State University to consecutive BCS Championship appearances, winning the national title at the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Robert Gallery: Raiders 2004 draft pick; No. 2 overall out of Iowa. 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.
David Fulcher: the former Arizona State defensive back was a two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in both 1984 and 1985. Three-time All-Pac-10 selection who led ASU to 1985 Holiday Bowl berth. Recorded 14 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and 286 tackles in career.
Willie Gault: 1982 First Team All-American. Led Tennessee Volunteers 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.
Bob Golic: Named unanimous First Team All-America and was a finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1978. Co-holder of UND’s single-game record for tackles with 26 vs. Michigan in 1978. Ranks second in school history with 479 career tackles.
Tyrone Poole: The former Fort Valley State (GA) defensive back First Team All-America selection in 1994. Two-time Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Defensive Player of the Year (1993-94) who led FVSU to two conference titles. Recorded 44 pass breakups and 17 interceptions, returning four for TDs.
Jack Del Rio: Former Raiders Head Coach was a star linebacker for USC. 1984 consensus First Team All-American who earned Co-MVP honors in the Trojans 1985 Rose Bowl win…Two-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection, leading USC to the 1984 Pac-10 title…Led the Trojans in tackles for loss his first three seasons.
Ken Norton Jr: The former UCLA linebacker was a 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.
In order to be considered for the Hall of Fame, former players need to meet certain criteria including:
- 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.
- 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 2021 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1971 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.
To see a complete list of candidates please click here.