The 18 players chosen for the 2022 promotion of the College Football Hall of Fame will be revealed on Monday, The National Football Foundation announced Last week.
The NCAA FBS 78-player portion of the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame poll included 13 former SEC stars, including former Alabama stars Shaun Alexander and Sylvester Croom.
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All SEC players selected for the 2022 class would join 97 former conference stars already registered with the College Football Hall of Fame.
SEC players on the Class 2022 ballot included:
Shaun Alexander, Alabama, running back 1996-99: Alexander was the SEC Player of the Year for the 1999 season as he ran for 1,383 yards and 19 touchdowns and scored 144 points – all top numbers. The performance earned Alexander a spot on the American Football Coaches Association’s All-American team. He ended his career in Alabama as the career leader of the Crimson Tide with 3,565 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns.
Champ Bailey, Georgia, cornerback, 1996-98: Bailey won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player for the 1998 season, but he did more than provide stellar high school play for the Bulldogs. Bailey also caught 47 passes for 744 yards and five touchdowns as a wide receiver and returned kickoffs and punts that season, when he was seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. Bailey was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Eric Berry, Tennessee, security, 2007-09: Berry received unanimous recognition from the All-Americans for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008 and the Jim Thorpe award for the nation’s top defensive back in 2009. Berry holds the records. SEC for career interception-return yards at 481 and single-season interception-return yards at 265 in 2008. Berry had seven of his 14 career interceptions in 2008.
Brandon Burlsworth, Arkansas, goalie, 1995-98: Burlsworth was an extra who was best known for his thick dark glasses and his resemblance to comedian Drew Carey, but he ended up starting 34 straight games for the Razorbacks and played a key role for their West Division title team. 1998. Burlsworth died in a traffic accident 11 days after being selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Burlsworth Trophy has been awarded annually since 2010 to the outstanding NCAA FBS player who began his career as an extra.
Tim Couch, Kentucky, quarterback, 1996-98: As a senior, Couch set SEC records for passes completed at 400, passing yards at 4,275, completion percentage at 0.723 and total violation yards at 4,151. He became the The SEC’s first player with over 4,000 total attacking yards in one season. Couch was fourth in the 1998 Heisman Trophy ballot and was the first player selected in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Sylvester Croom, Alabama, center, 1972-74: During Croom’s time in Alabama, the Crimson Tide lost one regular season game (by one point) and won three SEC championships. The Tuscaloosa native won the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1974, when he was the American Football Coaches Association All-American center. In 2004, Croom became the first African American football coach in SEC history when he held the most senior position in Mississippi state, and he coached the Bulldogs for five seasons.
Brad Culpepper, Florida, defensive tackle, 1988-91: A consensus All-American in 1991, Culpepper was a team captain for the Florida SEC Championship team that season. In addition to his playing honors, Culpepper also received the Campbell Trophy as the best varsity athlete in college football. His 47.5 tackles for a loss is still a career record for Florida defensive linemen.
Kevin Faulk, LSU, running back, 1995-98: Faulk leads the SEC in career all-purpose yards with 6,833-4,557 rushing, 600 receptions, 832 yards on punt return and 844 yards on kickoff return. That’s 952 more versatile yards than any other player in SEC history. When Faulk finished his college career, his 53 touchdowns were the most in SEC history.
Willie Gault, Tennessee, wide receiver, 1979-82: Gault’s receiving totals will not move him into the Hall of Fame. He caught 89 passes for 1,482 yards and 10 touchdowns in Tennessee, including 50 receptions in his senior season. But Gault set a record in both kickoff and punt return, setting six SEC records in those categories while he was with the Volunteers. In 1980, he tied the NCAA record for most kickoff return touchdowns in a single season with three.
Garrison Hearst, Georgia, running back 1990-92: Hearst won the SEC Player of the Year award and the Doak Walker award for the nation’s best running back in 1992, when he ran for 1,547 yards and 19 touchdowns and was third in the Heisman Trophy voting. His 126 points led the nation that season and he earned unanimous All-American recognition.
Bradie James, LSU, linebacker, 1999-2002: After helping LSU win the SEC Championship in 2001, James gained All-American first-team recognition from The Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association in 2002. He ended his career with 418 tackles, which went are ranked second on LSU’s career list.
Errict Rhett, Fla., Running back, 1989-93: The SEC’s top rusher in 1991 and 1993, Rhett holds the Florida record for career rushing yards at 4,163. In his final season with the Gators, Rhett became the first player in NCAA history. FBS with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 140 receptions during his career.
Larry Seivers, Tennessee, wide receiver, 1974-76: Seivers is one of 29 SEC players who have achieved consensus more than once. Seivers led the SEC in receptions in 1975 and 1976, capturing 41 passes for 840 yards leading the league in 1975 and making 51 catches for 737 yards in 1976. When he left Tennessee, he was the all-lead leader. volunteer time for receiving and receiving yards.
Three coaches have been chosen for the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Among the seven coaches on the Class 2022 ballot was Gary Pinkel, who led Missouri in the Tigers’ first four seasons as an SEC member.
Arkansas defensive tackle Dan Hampton, Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Texas A&M cornerback Kevin Smith were also on the ballot. Hampton, Maclin, and Smith played before their schools became members of the SEC.
To be considered for the College Football Hall of Fame today, a player must have been a first-team All-American selection by one of the organizations the NCAA uses to compile its annual consensus All-American squad.
Players are not considered for the College Football Hall of Fame until 10 years after their final season. They are also not counted when they are active NFL players.
Players are also not taken into account if their college career ended more than 50 years ago. These players can still be considered for the College Football Hall of Fame, but their qualifications are reviewed by the Football Bowl Subdivision Honors Review Committee, without going through the ballot.
Players on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot are nominated by athletic directors, head coaches and sports information directors at National Football Foundation member schools.
FBS applicants are sorted geographically for eight district selection committees. Committee members vote on the players who will represent their region on the ballot. Players who received strong support in the final vote the previous year but who were not part of the College Football Hall of Fame are also automatically retained on the ballot.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @ AMarkG1.