March 5, 2007
The names of eight former Notre Dame football all-stars — Tim Brown, Dave Casper, Bob Crable, Bob Golic, Terry Hanratty, George Kunz, Jim Seymour and Chris Zorich – appear on the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) ballot released this week. The ballot contains names of 75 players and eight coaches vying for induction in 2007. The only other school providing more than three candidates is USC with five.
The ballot hit the mail to the more than 12,000 members of the NFF and College Hall of Fame whose votes will be recorded and submitted to the Foundation’s honors court, which deliberates and is responsible for selecting the class. The honors court, an 11-member panel chaired by Gene Corrigan (former Notre Dame athletic director, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and NCAA past president) and also including former Notre Dame associate athletic director and sports information director Roger Valdiserri, is comprised of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Fame coaches and members of the media.
The Hall of Fame class will be announced later this spring and then inducted at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 50th Awards Dinner in December at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first-team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams, played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior, played within the last 50 years and be retired from playing professional football. Coaches must be out of the college coaching profession for at least three years, coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach, not be coaching on the professional level and have won at least 60 percent of their games. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, depending on their geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who appears on the ballot and represents their respective districts. Each year, 15 candidates not selected for the Hall of Fame are named automatic holdovers and bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year.
Here are details on the eight Irish players on the ballot:
* Tim Brown – Wide Receiver – Two-time first-team All-American in 1986 and 1987 . . . unanimous selection in 1987 . . . Heisman Trophy winner in 1987 . . . won 1987 Walter Camp Player of the Year award . . . set 19 Notre Dame records during his career . . . set Notre Dame record for career pass reception yardage (2493) and returned six kicks for touchdowns (three punts, three kickoffs).
* Dave Casper – Offensive Lineman/Tight End – 1973 consensus first-team All-American . . . played in 1974 Hula Bowl and College All-Star Game . . . Notre Dame co-captain and offensive MVP in 1973 on national championship team . . . 1973 Academic All-America selection . . . received post-graduate scholarships from NCAA and National Football Foundation . . . received NCAA Silvery Anniversary Award and is member of Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
* Bob Crable — Linebacker – Two-time first-team consensus All-American in 1980 and 1981 . . . set Notre Dame records for most career tackles (521, still an Irish record), most tackles in a season (187) and most tackles in a game (26, an NCAA record) . . . played in 1982 Hula Bowl . . . two-time Irish captain in 1980 and 1981.
* Bob Golic – Linebacker — Named unanimous All-America in 1978 and was a finalist for Lombardi Award in 1978 . . . co-holder of Notre Dame single-game record for tackles with 26 vs. Michigan in 1978 . . . second in school history with 479 career tackles . . . Cotton Bowl defensive player of the game and co-MVP of the Hula Bowl in 1978 . . . co-captain of 1978 Irish squad.
* Terry Hanratty – Quarterback — Named consensus first-team All-America in 1968 . . . finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1968, sixth in 1966 and ninth in 1967 . . . led Notre Dame to a national championship in 1966 . . . set numerous school career records including passing yards (4,152).
* George Kunz – Tackle – 1968 consensus first-team All-American . . . member of 1966 Notre Dame national championship team . . . two-year starter at right offensive tackle . . . co-captain of Irish team in 1968 . . . National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete honoree in 1968 . . . Academic All-American in 1968 and winner of NCAA post-graduate scholarship.
* Jim Seymour – End – Two-time first-team All-America selection (1967-68) . . . led the team in receiving from 1966-68 . . . set Notre Dame career records for receptions (138) and receiving yards (2,113) and for pass receptions in a game (13 vs. Purdue in 1966) and still holds record for receiving yards in a game (276 in that same game).
* Chris Zorich — Defensive Tackle — Two-time first-team All-America selection (1989-90), unanimous in 1990, consensus in 1989 . . . received Lombardi Award in 1990 and was an Outland Trophy finalist . . . member of the 1988 undefeated national championship team . . . named CBS Sports/Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 . . . co-captain of 1990 Notre Dame squad.
With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members nationwide, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America’s young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.
Notre Dame has 41 former players and five former coaches already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, providing more inductees than any other institution. The most recent addition is former quarterback and ’64 Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte, who was inducted in December 2005 and was enshrined in August 2006.