Getting the call from the Hall?
The College Football Hall of Fame could get an even bigger Texas flair this year.
It’s a good bet that if there is a museum of football, the state of Texas will have a big part in it. And the College Football Hall of Fame is no different.
The CFHOF, operated by the National Football Foundation, is transitioning from South Bend, Indiana to Atlanta, Georgia. But the bigger news will come out in just a couple of hours, when the Hall of Fame will announce its 2013 induction class.
There’s already some Texas flavor to the Hall – legendary coaches like Dana Bible and Darrell Royal, dozens of players from all across the Lone Star State – but the 2013 class could add even more of Texas to the Hall.
On the ballot – which is 77 names long – are plenty of folks with Texas ties. Who could join the list of immortals in the Hall of Fame? Here’s the Texas-tied candidates to keep an ear out for when the announcement comes down today at 11 a.m.
Brian Bosworth: Yes, The Boz is best known as the fearsome linebacker for the Oklahoma Sooners, but don’t forget that he got his start at Irving MacArthur, where he was one of the greatest Cardinals ever. He went on to be a two-time All-American and Butkus Award winner in 1985 and 1986, leading the Sooners to a national title in ’85 and three straight Orange Bowls.
Jim Carlen: It may seem like ages ago, but Jim Carlen was one of Texas Tech’s best coaches, if only for a brief time. Carlen led the Red Raiders from 1970-74, going 37-20 in that time, earning three Southwest Conference Coach of the Year awards and highlighting his brief time in Lubbock with an 11-1 season (and a Gator Bowl berth) in 1973.
Eric Dickerson: Maybe you’ve heard of him? The Sealy star turned SMU legend was one of the most electricying running backs in college football history, running for 4,450 yards and 47 touchdowns over four years on the Hilltop. He was a two-time SWC Player of the Year, a unanimous All-American and a third-place finisher in the 1982 Heisman Trophy voting.
Tony Franklin: No respect for the kickers, but Franklin is one of the all-time best. A standout at Fort Worth Arlington Heights, Franklin went on to Texas A&M where he was a two-time All-American. During his time in College Station, Franklin set seven NCAA records, including most 50-plus yard field goals and most career points by a kicker
Jerry Gray: One of the very best defensive backs in Longhorns history, the Lubbock Estacado product quickly made his mark on the Texas football program, earning the Southwest Conference Player of the Year honors in both 1983 and 1984. Why? He was a consummate ballhawk, picking off 16 throws and breaking up another 20 passes.
Zach Thomas: A legend in Lubbock, the linebacker came from tiny White Deer but soon rose to become a fan favorite, earning two All-America honors and twice earning SWC Defensive Player of the Year awards. He’s still fifth all-time at Tech with 390 tackles, and he’s still revered as one of the all-time greats
LaDainian Tomlinson: Remember him? Of course you do. TCU’s all-time leading rusher took the nation by storm in 1999 (when the Waco University grad was the WAC Offensive Player of the Year) and 2000 (when he was a unanimous All-American, won the Doak Walker Award and got Heisman votes. LT’s a Texas legend.
Don Trull: Before RG3, there was Don Trull, the original Baylor All-American quarterback. An All-American in 1963, Trull led the nation with 22 touchdowns and set a school record with 174 completions. What’s more: he was a champion in the classroom, earning Academic All-American honors twice.
Steve Wisniewski: This may be a name you don’t recognize, and that’s OK. The Spring Westfield alum took his talents north to Penn State, where he was a member of the 1986 national title team, then helped Blair Thomas run for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdown in 1987. To cap it off, he was an All-American in 1988
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.