Former Miami Hurricanes and NFL stars Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Warren Sapp were among the 75 former players and six coaches named to the College Hall of Fame ballot on Thursday by the National Football Foundation.
It’s the fifth time Lewis, a 1995 First Team All-American, Butkus Award runner-up who ranks sixth all-time at Miami with 388 career tackles, has been on the ballot.
For Sapp, a 1994 unanimous First Team All-American who finished sixth in the Heisman voting and won the Lombardi and Nagurski awards, its his first appearance on the ballot since 2014.
And for Reed, a two-time First Team All-American who led Miami to four bowl wins including the national championship and remains Miami’s all-time leader in career interceptions (21), it’s his first nomination. He’s one of 17 new faces on the ballot this year along with Michigan’s Charles Woodson, Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson and Stanford’s Ed McCaffrey.
The class will be announced in Atlanta on Jan. 8.
To be eligible for the ballot, a player must have been a first-team All-American by one of the five organizations used by the NCAA to determine the consensus All-America team: The Associated Press; the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers of America Association; the Sporting News; and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Members of the National Football Foundation, as well as athletics directors, coaches and members of CoSIDA are responsible for the final vote induction into the Hall of Fame. 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 fellow man. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
Getting into College Football’s Hall of Fame hasn’t been easy for the Hurricanes over the years.
Despite winning five national championships, producing 63 first round NFL Draft Picks and sending 56 players to the Pro Bowl, there are only six players (Ted Hendricks, Bennie Blades, Don Bosseler, Russell Maryland, Vinny Testaverde, Gino Torretta) and three coaches (Jimmy Johnson, Andy Gustafson, Jack Harding) from the University of Miami who have entered the College Hall of Fame.
There are 987 players and 214 coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, representing 306 schools. There are at least 26 other college programs with more representation than UM at the College Hall of Fame in Atlanta.