The National Football Foundation released the names that will be included on the 2014 ballot to choose inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. Several of the 162 players and 32 coaches listed have ties to Bay Area football.
According to the Foundation’s news release, 75 of the players and six coaches are from the Football Bowl Subdivision, with the remainder having made their mark in the lower divisions.
To be eligible, a player must have been named a First Team All-America by a national selector recognized by the NCAA, played their last collegiate game at least 10 years ago, played within the last 50 years and is no longer active in professional football. Coaches must have a minimum of 10 years and 100 games with a winning percentage of at least .600 and retired for at least three years, a requirement waived if the coach is 70 or older.
Former Stanford running back Darrin Nelson, former Cal defensive star Ron Rivera and Concord native and UC Davis alumnus Mike Bellotti are among those with ties to the Bay Area.
A list of all nominees with Bay Area ties includes (alphabetically, including college position and school):
- Mike Bellotti, coach: Bellotti was a three-sport athlete at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, graduating in 1969, and going on to play tight end and wide receiver at UC Davis from 1970-72. He later worked at UC Davis and what was then known as Cal State Hayward as an assistant coach before going on to head coaching jobs at Chico State and later, Oregon, where he was 116-55 in 14 seasons, including two Pac-10 titles and six bowl wins.
- Dre Bly, DB, North Carolina: Bly was a two-time consensus All-American with the Tar Heels who went on to All-Pro honors in an NFL career that included stints with the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. Bly was a 49er in 2009, his final NFL season, and started six games, finishing with three interceptions.
- Wes Chandler, WR, Florida: Chandler was a two-time All-American with the Gators and played the last of his 11 NFL seasons with the 49ers in 1988, catching four passes for 33 yards. He also spent the 2012 season as receivers coach at Cal under Jeff Tedford.
- Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State: A consensus All-American as a Buckeye, Cousineau played his final two seasons for the 49ers in 1986-87, notching two interceptions.
- Tim Dwight, WR/KR, Iowa: The diminutive speedster was a two-time All-American with the Hawkeyes and played the final season of his 10-year NFL career with the Oakland Raiders in 2007, returning nine punts for 54 yards, one kickoff for 30 yards and catching six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
- Al Harris, DE, Arizona State: Harris was a first-team All-American as a senior with the Sun Devils and played in the NFL for 12 years. He served as the pass rush specialist coach under Mike Singletary with the 49ers in 2009-10.
- Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame: An All-American and Walter Camp Award winner for the Fighting Irish, Ismail was with the Raiders when they returned to Oakland in 1995. He caught 28 passes for 491 yards and three touchdowns and had 36 kick returns for a 19.6-yard average in his lone season in Oakland.
- Lincoln Kennedy, T, Washington: Kennedy was an All-American for the Huskies and went on to earn All-Pro status and three Pro Bowl bids with the Raiders from 1996-2003.
- Fran McDermott, DB, Saint Mary’s: McDermott was a two-time All-American for the Gaels in a four-year career as a starter. He holds school records for interceptions in a career (21), season (eight) and game (four) in a career that stretched from 1978-81. He later went on to star in the Canadian Football League.
- Cade McNown, QB, UCLA: The Johnny Unitas Award winner in 1998 and an All-American with the Bruins, McNown was a spectacular bust in the NFL. He spent the last of his four seasons in the league with the 49ers in 2002, but was on injured reserve.
- Darrin Nelson, RB, Stanford: Nelson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons with the Cardinal (1977-78, 1980-81), finishing his career with 4,033 yards rushing and another 2,368 yards receiving. He scored 40 total touchdowns before embarking on an 11-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
- Ken Norton Jr., LB, UCLA: Norton was an All-American as a Bruin and went on two become a two-time All-Pro during a 13-year NFL career. Norton was an All-Pro with the 49ers in 1995 and a two-time Pro Bowler, spending seven years with San Francisco from 1994-2000. He had four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and 5.5 sacks, while registering 695 tackles.
- Ron Rivera, LB, Cal: A graduate of Seaside High School on the Monterey Peninsula, Rivera went on to become a consensus All-American for the Golden Bears in 1983. Once Cal’s all-time leader in sacks and tackles, Rivera still owns the mark for most tackles for loss in a season, set in 1983. He went on to play nine years in the NFL and has coached in the league since 1997, including the last three seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
- Darryl Rogers, coach: Rogers served as an assistant coach at Cal State Hayward for one year and later returned to the Bay Area as head coach at San Jose State, where his teams were 22-9-3 in three seasons and won the Pacific Coast Athletic Association title in 1975. He was also a head coach at Fresno State, Michigan State and Arizona State, as well as with the Detroit Lions in the NFL and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League. His overall collegiate record is 126-77-7.
- Warren Sapp, DT, Miami: Sapp played the last four years of his Hall of Fame career with the Raiders from 2004-07 after a standout career as a Hurricane that included the Lombardi and Nagurski awards in 1994. As a Raider, Sapp had 19.5 sacks and one interception, while logging 171 total tackles.
- Wesley Walls, TE, Ole Miss: Walls was a two-way player for much of his career for the Rebels, earning All-American honors in 1988 before being drafted by the 49ers. Walls spent four years as a backup tight end in San Francisco, making 11 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, before going on to five Pro Bowls with the Panthers during his 14-year NFL career.
- Steve Wisniewski, G, Penn State: Wisniewski was a two-time All-American as a Nittany Lion and came to the Bay Area when the Raiders returned from Los Angeles in 1995. He started every game for Oakland from 1995-2001 and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s in addition to going to three Pro Bowls after coming to Oakland. He spent the 2011 season with the Raiders as an assistant offensive line coach.
Tags: Al Harris Cade Mcnown Cal Golden Bears Football Cal State East Bay Football College Football Hall Of Fame Darrin Nelson Darryl Rogers Dre Bly Fran Mcdermott Ken Norton Jr. Lincoln Kennedy Mike Bellotti Oakland Raiders Raghib Ismail Ron Rivera Saint Mary's Gaels Football San Francisco 49ers San Jose State Spartans Football Stanford Cardinal Football Steve Wisniewski Tim Dwight Tom Cousineau Uc Davis Aggies Football Warren Sapp Wes Chandler Wesley Walls Ygnacio Valley High School