The NFL Hall of Fame will welcome the Class of 2019 on Saturday, Aug. 3, in the enshrinement ceremony from Canton, Ohio.
Of the 326 players, coaches, and contributors in the NFL Hall of Fame, all but two went to college. Before the weekend's festivities kick off with the first exhibition game of the 2019 NFL season at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, let’s take a look at the colleges represented in the NFL Hall of Fame.
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The NFL Hall of Fame: The 2019 class
There are no new colleges entering the NFL Hall of Fame this year. Tony Gonzalez gets California its second player in Canton, but every other school already had at least three players in the Hall. Ty Law moves Michigan into the fourth-most represented slot as its ninth selection, while Ed Reed keeps Miami (FL) close behind, being the eighth Hurricane inducted into the Hall.
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LSU has a pair of 2019 inductees in Kevin Mawae and Johnny Robinson giving the Tigers their fourth and fifth members of the Hall of Fame. Longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlan is the fifth former Oklahoma Sooner to get his bust in Canton, while Gil Brandt of Wisconsin and Georgia’s Champ Bailey are each of their respective school’s fourth members of the Hall of Fame.
Colleges most represented in the NFL Hall of Fame
No college has more NFL Hall of Famers than the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Here are the 11 colleges with the most members in Canton.
- 13 — Notre Dame: The first Heisman trophy winner, Paul Hornung, is one of many iconic names that have played for the Fighting Irish, joining Super Bowl winners Joe Montana and Jerome Bettis in Canton.
- 12 — Southern California: There were Pro Bowls aplenty with names like Marcus Allen, Anthony Muñoz, Junior Seau, and Frank Gifford getting their starts in Los Angeles.
- 10 — Ohio State: Lou “The Toe” Groza, for whom the award for college football’s best kicker is named, is one of many Buckeyes in the Hall.
- 9 — Michigan: Law bumps the Wolverines up the list that already had legendary names George Allen, Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch, and Ralph Wilson, Jr. enshrined.
- 8 (tie) — Alabama: There are plenty of quarterbacks — Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, and Bart Starr — that made the Crimson Tide a powerhouse and eventually found their way to the Hall of Fame.
- 8 (tie) — Miami (FL): Reed joins a bevy of former Hurricane defensive greats in Canton, like Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy.
- 8 (tie) — Pittsburgh: Dan Marino and Mike Ditka are just two of many Panthers that brought attention to the Steel City.
- 8 (tie) — Syracuse: Larry Csonka led the 1972 Miami Dolphins to that undefeated season, but Jim Brown is the most decorated name to come out of Syracuse, winner of three MVP awards and leading the NFL in rushing in eight of his nine pro seasons.
- 7 — Minnesota: The Gophers gave the NFL Bronko Nagurski, easily one of the coolest football names ever, as well as coaching greats Bud Grant and Tony Dungy.
- 6 — Illinois: Dick Butkus, Red Grange, George Halas and Ray Nitschke. That’s some pretty impressive company the Illini gave Canton.
Where the NFL Hall of Fame players went to college
There are now 326 members in the NFL Hall of Fame. Twenty-four of those enshrined earned their way as coaches, with iconic names like Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Parcells, and Don Shula amongst those in Canton. Al Davis, Lamar Hunt, Pete Rozelle, and Ed Sabol are amongst the 26 members in the Hall that made it as contributors, serving as owners, founders, commissioners, and the man who brought us NFL Films. George Halas, well, he was all three: a player, coach, and contributor.
Two members — past NFL president Joe Carr and founding New York Giants owner Tim Mara — didn’t attend college at all. Three players spent their pre-NFL careers solely in junior colleges: Joe Perry (Class of 1969), Dick “Night Train” Lane (1974), and Jim Taylor (1976).
Below is the complete list of NFL Hall of Famers who earned their way to Canton as players and the NCAA schools at which they played college football.
(All information taken from the official NFL Hall of Fame archives.)
BOLD = Player was at a school that is a current DII football program
* = Player was at a school that is a current DIII football program
^ = School no longer has a football program
# = School is no longer an institution