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Notre Dame Football: Hall of Fame Ballot Released, Three Irish Among Hopefuls

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Notre Dame Football: Hall of Fame Ballot Released, Three Irish Among Hopefuls
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Notre Dame has had their fair share of outstanding players, so it comes as little surprise that a few former Irish stars make their way onto the College Football Hall of Fame's official ballot on a regular basis. 

Last Tuesday The National Football Foundation announced the names of 77 players and five coaches who compose the 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, which was conveniently located in South Bend, Indiana, just south of the university until it closed last December. A new location is slated to open in Atlanta later this year. 

Three former Irish greats—wide receiver and punt return specialist Raghib Ismail, linebacker Bob Crable and offensive lineman Aaron Taylor—are on the ballot to be considered for induction.

Raghib "Rocket" Ismail (1988-1990) was a two-time first-team All-American as sophomore and junior, and a unanimous pick in '90 when he finished as the first runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. That year he also received the Walter Camp Player of the Year award according to UND.com. 

Perhaps the most memorable moment of Ismail's career came in the 1991 Orange Bowl when he returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown that would have won the game for Notre Dame, but the play was called back on a controversial clipping penalty that sealed the Irish's 10-9 loss to Colorado.  

Bob Crable (1979-1981) spent the majority of his tenure at Notre Dame under head coach—and fellow Hall of Fame nominee—Dan Devine. Crable was a near unanimous All-America pick in both 1980 and '81 and has 521 career tackles, which according to UND.com, is still a school record. 

Aaron Taylor (1990-1993) was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in 1993, the same year he took home the prestigious Lombardi trophy, which he had been a finalist for the previous year. A favorite among his teammates, Taylor was given the Nick Pietrosante Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies courage, dedication and pride. 

Which former Fighting Irish player will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year?

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At present there are 44 former Fighting Irish players and six former coaches (Dan Devine, Jesse Harper, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz, and Knute Rockne) in the Hall of Fame. The most recent Irish inductee was added just last year, tight end Dave Casper. 

Ismail, Crable and Taylor are among 77 players and five coaches vying for induction, and the competition is fierce. Former Heisman winners Ron Dayne, Eric Crouch, Danny Wuerffel and Vinny Testaverde are all on the ballot. 

The Hall of Fame inductees will be announced May 7.

Which Irish players do you think will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year? Tell us in the comments below. 

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