The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced on Monday the names for the 2023 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The list includes a pair of Indiana All-Americans, running back Vaughn Dunbar (1990-91) and quarterback Antwaan Randle El (1998-01).
Dunbar and Randle El are part of 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks to make the ballot.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell in a release.
Dunbar was a unanimous first-team All-American in 1991 when he led the nation in rushing (1,805) and finished sixth in Heisman voting. The running back was a first-team All-Big Ten selection that season when he led the conference with 150.4 yards per game. He posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and finished his career No. 3 on the career rushing charts at IU with 3,029 yards, a total that currently sits No. 7 all-time in program history.
Dunbar led the Hoosiers to a pair of bowl appearances and rushed for a total of 197 yards in the 1990 Peach Bowl and 1991 Copper Bowl. In a 24-0 victory over Baylor Copper Bowl, Dunbar totaled 106 rushing yards and one touchdown to earn MVP honors at Arizona Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
One of the most dynamic offensive performers in college football history, Randle El was the first quarterback to ever claim the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year honors in a career, earning the top rookie award in 1998 and player of the year accolades in 2001. A 2001 first-team All-America selection by the Football Writers Association of American, he finished 6th in Heisman Trophy balloting in 2001, after finishing 13th in 2000.
Randle El was the first player in NCAA history to score 40 touchdowns (45) and throw for 40 touchdowns (42) in a career, first to record over 2,500 yards of total offense in four seasons, first to pass for over 6,000 yards and rush for over 3,000 yards in a career. He remains the IU career total offense leader (11,364), more than 3,000 yards ahead of second place, and continues to rank No. 2 on the career passing yardage (7,469), rushing yardage (3,895) and touchdowns (45) charts.
The Thompson-Randle El Award, given to the Big Ten’s best freshman football student-athlete, is named in his honor. A tremendous all-around athlete, while at Indiana Randle El also played on the men’s basketball and baseball teams. He played in the NFL for 10 years with Pittsburgh and Washington and was a member of the winning Super Bowl team in Pittsburgh in 2005.
Indiana already has six members of the program enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, with Anthony Thompson the most recent selection in 2007. Alvin “Bo” McMillin (elected 1951), Pete Philos (1966), Zora Clevenger (1968), George Taliaferro (1981) and John Tavener (1990) are also among the less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 152 years to earn the distinction.
The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2023, with specific details to be announced in the future.
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