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Seven Former Irish Players Make College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

Feb. 14, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Seven former Notre Dame football All-Americans are among the 77 former college standouts on the ballot for the 2003 College Football Hall of Fame induction process:

Dave Duerson Safety 1979-82
Bob Golic Linebacker 1976-78
John Huarte Quarterback 1962-64
Walt Patulski Defensive End 1969-71
Jim Seymour End 1966-68
Joe Theismann Quarterback 1968-70
Chris Zorich Defensive Tackle 1987-90

Those seven passed through a district screening committee and appear on the ballot released by the National Football Foundation. The ballot hit the mail this week to the more than 11,000 members of the National Football Foundation 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, commissioner of the ACC and past president of the NCAA), is made up of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Fame coaches and members of the media.

The Hall of Fame class will be announced in late March and inducted at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 46th Awards Dinner Dec. 9, 2003, in New York City.

Duerson, Patulski and Zorich are first-time names on the ballot, while Golic, Huarte, Seymour and Theismann have appeared in one or more previous years. Notre Dame has 39 former players (more than any other institution) and five former coaches enshrined – most recently Ralph Guglielmi in 2001. Notre Dame has the most names on the ballot with seven, followed by five from USC, four each from Ohio State and Tennessee.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first-team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized by the NCAA, 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. Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, which conduct a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot.

With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, a not-for-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 scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.


Dave Duerson – Safety – Named first team All-America in 1982. Named team MVP, was team captain and played in the Hula Bowl in 1982. Chairman of the Chicago Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

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.

John Huarte – Quarterback – Named consensus All-America and won the Heisman Trophy in 1964. Named 1964 UPI Player and Back of the Year and Back of the Year by Football News. MVP of the 1964 North-South Game and played in the College All-Star Game.

Walt Patulski – Defensive End – Named unanimous All-America in 1971. Won the 1971 Lombardi Award and was named Lineman of the Year by United Press International. Named team MVP and finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1971.

Jim Seymour – End – Named two-time first team All-America in 1967 and 1968. Led the team in receiving from 1966-68. Holds Notre Dame receiving record for pass receptions in a game with 13 and receiving yards in a game with 276. Played in the College All-Star Game and Hula Bowl.

Joe Theismann – Quarterback – Named first team All-America in 1970. Finished as the runner-up for the 1970 Heisman Trophy. Set school record for yards passing in a game with 526 in 1970. Set career record for touchdown passes with 31.

Chris Zorich – Defensive Tackle – Named unanimous All-America in 1990 and consensus in 1989. Received Lombardi Award in 1990 and was an Outland Award finalist. Member of the 1988 undefeated National Championship team. Named CBS Sports/Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year in 1990.