Ballots for the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame will be released Monday at 10 a.m. CDT. National Football Foundation announced on Wednesday.
Eight players from Auburn are members of the College Football Hall of Fame. But the Tigers haven’t been in their Hall of Fame since Ed Dyas became a member of the class of 2009.
24 Auburn players are eligible to vote for the Class of 2023. This does not include the 22 Auburn alumni who meet the first criteria for the College Football Hall of Fame but are not in the current eligibility window.
that’s 46 A player from Auburn has the potential to become a Hall of Famer.
To be considered for admission to the College Football Hall of Fame today, a player must be a First Team All-American selected by one of the organizations the NCAA uses to compile its Consensus All-American Team of the Year. Currently, those organizations are the American Soccer Coaches Association, the Associated Press, the American Soccer Writers Association, Sports News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. But the selectors used by the NCAA have changed over the years, from a low of 2 to a high of 10.
Players won’t be considered for the College Football Hall of Fame until 10 years after their final season. Nor are they considered when they are active NFL players. Auburn has nine players who are All-American but are not eligible because their last season with the Tigers was in 2013 or later, or they are still playing in the NFL.
If a player’s college career ended more than 50 years ago, they also wouldn’t be considered for the ballot, so any player who finished time with the Tigers before 1973 would be ineligible for the 2023 ballot. Auburn has 13 All-American players who are not in the 50-year window, including celebrities like Jim “Red” Phillips and Zeke Smith.
Those players can still be considered for admission to the College Football Hall of Fame, but their eligibility will be reviewed by the Football Bowl Subdivision Honors Review Board, bypassing voting.
Phillips was a unanimous national candidacy in 1957. Derek Brown was the unanimous All-American in 2019. While they were ineligible to appear on the ballot, the other three Auburn unanimous All-Americans were — Brent Fullwood, Ed King and Ben Tambrero.
Unanimous All-Americans are players selected by the first team of all organizations used by the NCAA that have compiled unanimous All-American teams for the season.
The All-American Consensus is usually a player selected by at least half of the first team in the organization used by the NCAA to compile All-American Consensus teams. It’s possible to be the All-American consensus without half, or it’s possible, although rare, not to be the All-American consensus even with at least half of the first teams.
For College Football Hall of Fame consideration, players don’t have to be an all-American consensus — just first-team players who are fit for selection.
Former Auburn players who are eligible to enter the College Football Hall of Fame whose careers ended more than 50 years ago include (listing their national eligibility criteria in alphabetical order):
Center Jackie Burkett: Nonconsensus of 1958
Defensive tackle David Campbell: Nonconsensus of 1968
Defender Joe Childress: Nonconsensus of 1955
Against Frank D’Agostino: Nonconsensus of 1955
Gaford, the monk of the central guard: Nonconsensus of 1942
Defensive back Buddy McClinton: 1969 Consensus
Closing Jim “Red” Phillips: Unanimously adopted in 1957
Against Ken Rice: 1959 Non-Consensus and 1960 Consensus
Back to Jimmy Sid: Nonconsensus of 1963
Guard Zeke Smith: 1958 Consensus and 1959 Non-Consensus
Defensive tackle Jack Thornton: Nonconsensus of 1965
Center Caleb Warrington: Nonconsensus of 1944
Defensive back Larry Willingham: 1970 Consensus
Former Auburn players currently eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame balloting include (in alphabetical order and by their national eligibility criteria):
Linebacker Ken Bernich: 1974 Consensus
Linebacker Andrew Bruce: 1987 Consensus
Linebacker Greg Carr: 1984 Consensus
Bet on Lewis Colbert: Nonconsensus in 1985
Linebacker Kurt Klein: Nonconsensus in 1987
Pitcher Terry Daniel: 1993 Consensus
Linebacker Carlos Dansby: 2003 Consensus
Kicker Damon Duvall: 2001 Consensus
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley: 2010 Consensus
Running back Brent Fullwood: 1986 unanimous
Offensive tackle Wayne Gandy: 1993 Consensus
Guard Ed King: 1989 Non-Consensus and 1990 Consensus
Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill: 2005 Consensus
Offensive tackle Victor Riley: 1997 non-consensus
Defensive back Brian Robinson: 1994 Consensus
Defensive tackle David Locke: 1990 Consensus
Cornerback Carlos Rodgers: 2004 Consensus
Wide receiver Frank Sanders: Nonconsensus in 1990
Offensive tackle Stacy Searels: Nonconsensus in 1987
Defensive back Chris Sheering: No consensus in 1994
Linebacker Takeo Spikes: 1997 non-consensus
Ben Tambrero Center: 1986 unanimous
Running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams: No consensus in 2004
Offensive tackle Li Zimba: 2010 Consensus
Former Auburn players who meet the National College Football Hall of Fame criteria but have not yet been eligible for consideration include (listing their national eligibility criteria in alphabetical order):
Defensive tackle Derek Brown: Consistent in 2019
Kicker Daniel Carlson: No consensus in 2017
Multipurpose/counter-kicker Chris Davis: No consensus in 2013
Reese Dismukes Center: 2014 Consensus
Defensive end Carl Lawson: No consensus in 2016
Running back Tremason: No consensus in 2013
Cornerback Roger McCreary: Nonconsensus in 2021
Quarterback Cam Newton: 2010 Consensus
Guard Braden Smith: No consensus in 2017
Auburn has eight players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (in alphabetical order by their national eligibility criteria):
Wide receiver Terry Beasley: 1971 unanimous
Guard Ed Dias: Nonconsensus of 1960
Defensive back Tucker Frederickson: 1964 Consensus
Central defender Jimmy Hitchcock: 1932 Consensus
Running back Bo Jackson: Consensus in 1983, Consensus in 1985
Defensive tackle Tracy Locke: 1987 consensus, 1988 consensus
Quarterback Pat Sullivan: 1971 unanimous
One of the College Football Hall of Famers from Auburn who didn’t meet the current All-American standards – center Walter Gilbert, who played for the Tigers from 1934 to 1936.
Players on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot are nominated by athletic directors, head coaches and athletic information directors at NFL member schools.
FBS nominees are divided into eight regional screening committees by geographic region. Committee members vote on which players will represent their district on the ballot. Players who received significant support in the previous year’s final ballot but were not inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame will also automatically remain on the ballot.
The more than 12,000 members of the National Football Foundation will then receive annual ballots for their consideration.
After voting closes, the NFF Honors Court considers the recommendations of the Veterans Committee, reviews the voting results and names Hall of Famers.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.follow him on twitter @AMarkG1.