With the College Football Hall of Fame set to move from South Bend, Indiana, to Atlanta this year, the announcement of the 2014 class on Thursday generated plenty of excitement.
The 2014 crop of inductees will headline the grand opening of the new Hall of Fame building in August, and there is no question that this group is deserving of such an honor.
According to Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press, the 2014 class will be highlighted by Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas, TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan:
So we know Shane Conlan, LaDainian Tomlinson and Derrick Thomas are new CFB Hall of Famers. 11 more players and 2 coaches to be announced.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) May 22, 2014
Here is a full listing of all 16 inductees announced by the National Football Foundation on Thursday:
|Shane Conlan||LB||Penn State|
|Willie Roaf||OT||Louisiana Tech|
|Dre Bly||DB||North Carolina|
|Sterling Sharpe||WR||South Carolina|
|Leonard Smith||DB||McNeese State|
|Wesley Walls||TE||Ole Miss|
|Joe Hamilton||QB||Georgia Tech|
|Jerry Moore||Coach||Appalachian State|
Despite the stacked class, there were certainly a few snubs that many will argue deserved a spot, per Russo:
Among those NOT voted in CFB Hall of Fame this year: Ricky Williams, Texas; Eric Crouch, Nebraska, Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) May 22, 2014
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports was one of those defending Bosworth's credentials as a Hall of Fame talent:
No Boz in CFHoF. His demons were known. Wonder how many that got in have similar issues? Boz deserves induction.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) May 22, 2014
It's a CFB Hall of FAME, not a hall of politically correct All-American guys. Boz deserves to be in.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) May 22, 2014
Thomas' posthumous induction essentially headlines the class, although each and every player inducted left their mark on college football in a big way.
An induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is likely in LT's future, but he will be honored by the college game first by becoming the 11th Horned Frog to be recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame, according to TCU sports information director Mark Cohen:
Also, Conlan continued a long line of Penn State representation in the College Football Hall of Fame.
According to GoPSUSports.com, current Penn State head coach James Franklin believes Conlan's impact on the program makes him an ideal inductee.
The Penn State football family is ecstatic that Shane Conlan has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Shane is one of the primary reasons why so many people know about the unrivaled tradition of LinebackerU. Shane was a fierce, tough competitor and leader and we are excited that he is being appropriately recognized for his outstanding career with his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
Who do you view as the headliner of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class?
The 2014 class is an interesting one because it features players like Thomas and Tomlinson, who were dominant in both the collegiate forum and in the NFL—but there are also several inductees who didn't necessarily translate to the next level.
Their college careers still deserve to be recognized, though, and the College Football Hall of Fame makes that a reality. With their induction confirmed, fans will be able to relive all of their accomplishments they had on the college game during their playing days.
It had to be an arduous and painstaking process to come up with 16 inductees out of a list of dozens of candidates, but the voters certainly seem to have done an admirable job. Now, eyes will turn to the class of 2015, where fans will hope some of the perceived snubs will get their day of recognition.
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