June 4, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Indiana – Two former University of Notre Dame football all-stars – wide receiver/kick returner Raghib Ismail and offensive tackle Aaron Taylor – appear on the 2018 National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision ballot.
The ballot contains names of 76 players and six coaches vying for induction.
The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whosevotes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select theclass. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer ArchieGriffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach,longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographicallydiverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. The city isserving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi’sStadium. Some of the electees will be on site during the announcement to represent the class and sharetheir thoughts on being elected. The Jan. 7 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewinginformation will be available as the date draws near. Several of the electees will also participate in thepregame festivities and the coin toss before the championship game.
The 2019 class will officially be inducted during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 2019, atthe New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will be permanently enshrined at the College Football Hallof Fame in Atlanta later that December and honored on the field during the 15th Annual National Hall ofFame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. They will also be honored at their respective schools withan NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2019 season.
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:
First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasonsafter his final year of intercollegiate football played. 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 his fellow man,with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether thecandidate earned a college degree. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* Forexample, to be eligible for the 2019 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1969 orthereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching onthe professional level are not eligible until after they retire. A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately followingretirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years ofage. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100games with a .600 winning percentage.
*Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the FootballBowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District ScreeningCommittees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine whowill appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and willbypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptionsthat allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 5.26 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers onNov. 6, 1869, only 997 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less thantwo one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 149 years.From the coaching ranks, 217 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.
Here are details on the two former Irish players on the ballot:
* Raghib Ismail – Wide Receiver – Two-time first-team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1989 and unanimous honors in 1990 … Walter Camp Player of the Year and The Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1990 … Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1990 … led Notre Dame to 1989 Fiesta Bowl versus unbeaten West Virginia and two Orange Bowls against top-rated Colorado squads … set NCAA record by twice returning two kickoffs for TDs in a single game (Rice 1988, Michigan 1989) … finished with 4,187 all-purpose yards … led the nation in kickoff returns as a freshman in 1988 with 36.1-yard average … helped Irish to 1988 consensus national championship … MVP of 1990 Orange Bowl and one of 10 finalists for 1990 Sullivan Award (as only finalist from college football) … had six career kick returns for TDs … his 22.0-yard average per reception remains a Notre Dame career mark.
* Aaron Taylor – Offensive tackle – Unanimous first-team All-America selection in 1993 as a senior offensive tackle after earning consensus honors as junior in 1992 as offensive guard … winner of the ’93 Lombardi Award and was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy … also a Lombardi finalist as junior in ’92 … received Notre Dame Lineman of the Year Award from Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in ’93 … voted by teammates as the recipient of Nick Pietrosante Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies courage, dedication and pride of the late All- America fullback … captain of the team his senior season, starting 30 straight games to end his career … member of the 1994 Hula Bowl team … drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft, playing on a team that won the Super Bowl in 1997 … played for the San Diego Chargers in 1998 and 1999 before retiring from professional football … analyst for the CBS Sports Network.
This is Ismail’s sixth straight appearance—and it’s Taylor’s third appearance (also in 2013 and 2017).
Notre Dame has 46 former players and six former coaches already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, providing more inductees than any other institution. The most recent addition is Irish linebacker Bob Crable, who was inducted in December 2017.
— ND —