This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class is loaded with stars and a lot of familiar names for football fans.
Headlining the class are Vince Young, Joe Thomas, Troy Polamalu and Patrick Willis as announced on SportsCenter. Overall, 13 players and two coaches were chosen from a ballot that included 176 players and 38 coaches across the multiple divisions in college football.
Young is likely the most notable name for football fans as he became a legend for Texas Longhorn football. Beginning in 2004, Young led the Longhorns to an 11-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory over the University of Michigan Wolverines.
The Longhorns would appear in the Rose Bowl again in 2005 as they clashed with the USC Trojans for the National Championship. Young accounted for nearly 500 yards of offense (200 rushing, 267 passing) by himself against the Trojans' defense. Young's legacy was cemented after a 9-yard scramble into the end zone with 19 seconds remaining to give the Longhorns a 41-38 victory.
Thomas became a staple in the seemingly always prolific Wisconsin Badgers rushing attack during his time in college. Thomas started every game in his sophomore, junior and senior season for the Badgers. He was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly in his junior season, officially recognized as a first-team All-American in his senior season and won the Outland Trophy (nation's top interior lineman).
Polamalu flashed onto people's radar in his sophomore season as he showcased his big-play ability on the defensive side of the ball while starting all 12 games for the USC Trojans. Polamalu had his best statistical year in his junior season, finishing with 118 tackles (13 TFL), 1 sack, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 3 blocked punts and 2 defensive touchdowns. He was voted the MVP for the Trojans and named as a first-team All-American by the Football Writers and College and Pro Football News Weekly. The Associated Press would vote him as a second-team All-American. Polamalu would be hampered by injuries during his senior season but still managed to be a major force on the Trojans defense and became the first Trojan to be a 2-time first-team All-American since Tony Boselli in 1992.
Willis became a destructive force for the Ole Miss Rebels during his time on the field. He accrued 70 tackles and had a team-high 11 tackles for loss in his sophomore season before leading the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in total tackles per game. He would finish his junior season with 128 total tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT and 2 forced fumbles. His successful junior season saw him be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com and Scout.com. He earned first-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press, SEC Coaches, CollegeFootballNews.com and Rivals.com. He would be named as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-SEC and consensus first-team All-American in his senior season. Willis would also be awarded the Jack Lambert Award and the Dick Butkus Award.
Another familiar name in this year's class from recent times for football fans is Darren McFadden. He became just the 7th SEC player to rush for over 1,000 yards as a freshman en route to being recognized as the SEC Freshman of the Year by SEC Media and coaches. McFadden continued to achieve success in his sophomore campaign as he set a school-record 1,647 yards with 17 total touchdowns (14 rushing, 3 passing). He finished second in voting for the 2006 Heisman Trophy award but became the first sophomore to win the Doak Walker Award and the Jim Brown Trophy. His 2007 season saw McFadden earn numerous honors such as back-to-back Jim Brown Trophies, unanimous first-team All-American and finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy award once again. McFadden ended his college career with almost all of the Arkansas Razorbacks rushing records and finished second to Herschel Walker in all-time career rushing yards for a SEC player.
The full list of 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Players are:
Vince Young, QB, Texas
Joe Thomas, OL, Wisconsin
Troy Polamalu, S, USC
Raghib Ismail, WR/RB, Notre Dame
Terrell Buckley, DB, Florida State
Rickey Dixon, DB, Oklahoma
London Fletcher, LB, John Carroll
Jacob Green, DL, Texas A&M
Torry Holt, WR, North Carolina State
Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Jake Plummer, QB, Arizona State
Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State
Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss
Dennis Erickson, Coach; Wyoming, Washington State, Miami, Oregon State, Idaho and Arizona State
Joe Taylor, Coach; Hampton, Florida A&M, Virginia Union and Howard