On Tuesday the National Football Foundation released a list of 200 names under consideration for the 2016 class of the College Football Hall of Fame. While 200 sounds like a lot – and it certainly is – consider that more than five million people have played college football since Rutgers and Princeton first took the field on that November day in 1869.
From that group of 200, the NFF membership and its Honors Court will whittle the list down to around 15 FBS players and a couple of coaches at the FBS level.
“The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names,” NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell said in a statement. “We look forward to announcing the 2016 Hall of Fame Class on the Friday before the College Football Playoff National Championship.”
To be eligible for consideration, players must be a First Team All-American, be an upstanding citizen and complete his playing career between 10 and 50 years ago. Coaches must win at least 60 percent of their games and coach at least 100 games.
Among the names on this year’s list are Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks, Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, Notre Dame wide receiver Rocket Ismail, USC quarterback Matt Leinart and Miami linebacker Ray Lewis.
The 2016 class will be announced during January’s College Football Playoff extravaganza in Scottsdale, Ariz., and inducted at the NFF’s annual dinner at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria on Dec. 6, 2016.