Derrick Thomas Headlines a Trio of Alabama Players on 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot
Once again, the College Football Hall of Fame ballot has been released by the National Football Foundation and the late Derrick Thomas makes the list. Normally this would constitute good news, but the fact that one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game continues to be excluded damages the credibility of the honor.
The 2014 ballot includes 75 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision and Alabama is represented by three nominees. Along with Thomas, two-way star Paul Crane and running back Bobby Humphrey are also up for induction.
This newest round of voting marks the fourth time that Thomas will be on the ballot, which is unfathomable when you consider his resume. As a senior at Alabama, the Miami native registered an NCAA record 27 total sacks that still hasn't been surpassed. In a single game against Texas A&M, Thomas got to the quarterback five times, which is another record.
By the time he finished his career in Tuscaloosa, Thomas had tallied a Butkus Award, two All-SEC selections, an SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, and an SEC Athlete of the Year honor.
Recognition for his career continued well beyond college. The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted the Kansas City Chiefs' star in 2009 and he has since been named to the All-SEC Team of the Decade for the 1980s. It seems the only accolade he hasn't received is inclusion into the College Football Hall of Fame, but he'll get another chance this year.
The criteria for being nominated is as follows:
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football.
The 2014 class will be announced in May and inducted in December and Alabama will be looking for its first inductee in three years. Despite its great tradition, the Crimson Tide only has 18 representatives in the hall of fame, which places them 14th among all schools. Notre Dame leads the way with 43 total members.