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Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush Headline 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2023

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow of the University of Florida wins the Heisman trophy during the 73rd Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award on December 8, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)
Kelly Kline/Getty Images

The National Football Foundation announced its 22-member class for 2023, a group headlined by 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and USC legend Reggie Bush.

The list of inductees is split between 18 players and four coaches.


College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Players

  • Eric Berry: DB, Tennessee (2007-09) 
  • Michael Bishop: QB, Kansas State (1997-98) 
  • Reggie Bush: RB, Southern California (2003-05) 
  • Dwight Freeney: DE, Syracuse (1998-2001) 
  • Robert Gallery: OT, Iowa (2000-03) 
  • LaMichael James: RB, Oregon (2009-11) 
  • Derrick Johnson: LB, Texas (2001-04) 
  • Bill Kollar: DT, Montana State (1971-73) 
  • Luke Kuechly: LB, Boston College (2009-11) 
  • Jeremy Maclin: WR/KR, Missouri (2007-08) 
  • Terance Mathis: WR, New Mexico (1985-87, 1989) 
  • Bryant McKinnie: OT, Miami [FL] (2000-01) 
  • Corey Moore: DL, Virginia Tech (1997-99) 
  • Michael Stonebreaker: LB, Notre Dame (1986, 1988, 1990) 
  • Tim Tebow: QB, Florida (2006-09) 
  • Troy Vincent: DB, Wisconsin (1988-91) 
  • Brian Westbrook: RB, Villanova (1997-98, 2000-01) 
  • DeAngelo Williams: RB, Memphis (2002-05)

Coaches

  • Monte Cater: Lakeland [WI] (1981-86), Shepherd [WV] (1987-2017) 
  • Paul Johnson: Georgia Southern (1997-2001), Navy (2002-07), Georgia Tech (2008-18) 
  • Roy Kramer: Central Michigan (1967-77) 
  • Mark Richt: Georgia (2001-15), Miami [FL] (2016-18)

Tebow threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns while running for another 2,947 yards and 57 scores in his four years at Florida. In addition to helping the Gators win a pair of national titles, he made history when he became the first underclassman to lift the Heisman Trophy.

Officially, Bush's 2005 Heisman win has been stricken from the record book after he was found to have received improper benefits. That doesn't matter much to those who followed his three-year run with the Trojans. He compiled 4,470 yards from scrimmage and 38 touchdowns and was the most explosive offensive player in college football.

Plenty of football fans will be familiar with Brian Westbrook's work in the NFL. He was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Philadelphia Eagles and contributed to their NFC title run in 2004. When he left Villanova, Westbrook was also the NCAA's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (9,512). Nate Kmic, who played at Mount Union from 2005-08, has since surpassed his mark.

Luke Kuechly and Dwight Freeney will likewise be more familiar for their work in the NFL than at the college level, which isn't to diminish what they achieved at Boston College and Syracuse, respectively.

Kuechly was a two-time consensus All-American and winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award in 2011. His 532 career tackles are the most ever for a Boston College player.

Freeney had a nondescript start to his Orange career before a breakout junior season in which he had 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. He added another 17.5 sacks as a senior in 2001 en route to becoming a unanimous All-American.

On the coaching side, Mark Richt was unable to bring a national championship to Georgia, but his 145 wins are second only to Vince Dooley. During his 15-year tenure, the Bulldogs had nine 10-win seasons and finished runner-up to LSU in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll in 2007.

Paul Johnson didn't reach the same heights in his 17-year FBS coaching career but transformed Navy into a postseason bowl mainstay. He then left for Georgia Tech, which won 83 games over 11 years, and the Yellow Jackets' subsequent downturn makes his time there look even better by comparison.

Johnson was also a bit of an outlier in that he maintained his potent triple-threat offense despite it falling out of vogue at the highest levels.