IRVING, Texas – Former Arizona State University football stars Bob Breunig and Al Harris, as well as former head coach Darryl Rogers, have been named to the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame induction ballot, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced Thursday.
Breunig led ASU to consecutive Fiesta Bowl wins and WAC Championships in 1972 and 1973, as well as 28 wins and a national ranking in each season from 1972-74. A 1974 First Team All-America selection and a Silver Anniversary Butkus Award Winner, he finished his career as ASU’s all-time leader in career tackles (353) and solo tackles (206), and set the single-season record for tackles at 145. Breunig was a two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-WAC honoree, and is a member of the ASU Sports Hall of Fame and the Ring of Honor Society. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection in his 10 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and helped them reach three Super Bowls, including a win in Super Bowl XII, and six NFC Championships games.
Harris, a mainstay in ASU’s defensive line from 1975-78, was the first football player in school history to earn unanimous First-Team All-America honors as he gained recognition from the AP, UPI, Coaches, Sporting News, Football Writers, and Walter Camp teams in 1978. A Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy finalist, his 19 sacks in 1978 and his 24 tackles for loss in 1977 both remain the second most in a single season in program history, and his 57 career tackles for loss are tied for the third most. He was a key figure in the Devils’ 20-7 win over then-No. 2 Southern California in 1978 and helped ASU to 34 wins in his four seasons. A member of the ASU Sports Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor Society, Harris was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 1979 and went on play 11 seasons with the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.
Rogers coached the Sun Devils from 1980-84, and led ASU to a 37-18-1 (.670 win percentage) record. He had four winning seasons in his five years at ASU, including his best season came 1982 when he led the Sun Devils to a 10-2 record and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 1983.
Other candidates with ties to the Phoenix Valley include Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who was a First-Team All-American wide receiver at Michigan State and helped lead the Spartans to a Big Ten Co-Championship and a No. 12 national ranking in 1978.
Sun Devils In The College Football Hall of Fame
Mike Haynes, defensive back, 1972-75, inducted in 2001
John Jefferson, wide receiver, 1974-77, inducted in 2002
Randall McDaniel, offensive lineman, 1984-87, inducted in 2008
Ron Pritchard, linebacker, 1966-68, inducted in 2003
Pat Tillman, linebacker 1994-97, inducted in 2010
Danny White, quarterback, 1970-73, inducted in 1998
John Cooper – head coach, 1985-87, inducted in 2008
Dan Devine – head coach, 1955-57, inducted in 1985
Frank Kush – head coach, 1958-79, inducted in 1995
The 2014 ballot includes 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, and 87 players and 26 coaches from the divisional ranks.
The ballot was mailed this week to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class. Chaired by Gene Corrigan, a former ACC Commissioner and NCAA president, the 17-member NFF Honors Court includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.99 million people have played college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “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.”
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in May from Irving, Texas, and they will be inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9, 2014 at the landmark Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The inductees will be permanently enshrined in the new College Football Hall of Fame at a date to be determined in 2015. The new Hall, currently under construction, will open in Atlanta in time for the 2014 college football season.
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. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 4.99 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 934 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two ten-thousandths (.0002) of one percent of those who have played the game during the past 145 years. From the coaching ranks, 205 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.