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Wayne Cavadi | | August 1, 2019

Where NFL Hall of Fame inductees played college football

Check out these NFL greats that played college hoops

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.

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.

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.

  • 13Notre 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. 
  • 12Southern California: There were Pro Bowls aplenty with names like Marcus Allen, Anthony Muñoz, Junior Seau, and Frank Gifford getting their starts in Los Angeles.
  • 10Ohio 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. 
  • 7Minnesota: 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

Year Player School
2019 Champ Bailey Georgia
2019 Tony Gonzalez California
2019 Ty Law Michigan
2019 Kevin Mawae LSU
2019 Ed Reed Miami (FL)
2019 Johnny Robinson LSU
2018 Brian Dawkins Clemson
2018 Jerry Kramer Idaho
2018 Ray Lewis Miami (FL)
2018 Randy Moss Marshall
2018 Robert Brazile Jackson State
2018 Terrell Owens Chattanooga
2018 Brian Urlacher New Mexico
2017 Morten Andersen Michigan State
2017 Terrell Davis Georgia, Long Beach State^
2017 Kenny Easley UCLA
2017 Jason Taylor Akron
2017 LaDanian Tomlinson TCU
2017 Kurt Warner Northern Iowa
2016 Brett Favre Southern Mississippi
2016 Kevin Greene Auburn
2016 Marvin Harrison Syracuse
2016 Orlando Pace Ohio State
2016 Ken Stabler Alabama
2016 Dick Stanfel San Francisco^
2015 Jerome Bettis Notre Dame
2015 Tim Brown Notre Dame
2015 Charles Haley James Madison
2015 Junior Seau Southern California
2015 Will Shields Nebraska
2015 Mick Tingelhoff Nebraska
2014 Derrick Brooks Florida State
2014 Ray Guy Southern Mississippi
2014 Claude Humphrey Tennessee State
2014 Walter Jones Florida State
2014 Andre Reed Kutztown
2014 Michael Strahan Texas Southern
2014 Aeneas Williams Southern
2013 Larry Allen Sonoma State ^
2013 Cris Carter Ohio State
2013 Curley Culp Arizona State
2013 Jonathan Ogden UCLA
2013 Dave Robinson Penn State
2013 Warren Sapp Miami (FL)
2012 Jack Butler St. Bonaventure^
2012 Dermontti Dawson Kentucky
2012 Chris Doleman Pittsburgh
2012 Cortez Kennedy Miami (FL)
2012 Curtis Martin Pittsburgh
2012 Willie Roaf Louisiana Tech
2011 Richard Dent Tennessee State
2011 Marshall Faulk San Diego State
2011 Chris Hanburger North Carolina
2011 Les Richter California
2011 Deion Sanders Florida State
2011 Shannon Sharpe Savannah State
2010 Russ Grimm Pittsburgh
2010 Rickey Jackson Pittsburgh
2010 Dick LeBeau Ohio State
2010 Floyd Little Syracuse
2010 John Randle Texas A&I (now TAMU-Kingsville)
2010 Jerry Rice Mississippi Valley State
2010 Emmitt Smith Florida
2009 Bob Hayes Florida A&M
2009 Randall McDaniel Arizona State
2009 Bruce Smith Virginia Tech
2009 Derrick Thomas Alabama
2009 Rod Woodson Purdue
2008 Fred Dean Louisiana Tech
2008 Darrell Green Texas A&I (now TAMU-Kingsville)
2008 Art Monk Syracuse
2008 Emmitt Thomas Bishop#
2008 Andre Tippett Iowa
2008 Gary Zimmerman Oregon
2007 Gene Hickerson Ole Miss
2007 Michael Irvin Miami (FL)
2007 Bruce Matthews Southern California
2007 Charlie Sanders Minnesota
2007 Thurman Thomas Oklahoma State
2007 Roger Wehrli Missouri
2006 Troy Aikman Oklahoma, UCLA
2006 Harry Carson South Carolina State
2006 Warren Moon Washington
2006 Reggie White Tennessee
2006 Rayfield Wright Fort Valley State
2005 Benny Friedman Michigan
2005 Dan Marino Pittsburgh
2005 Steve Young BYU
2004 Bob (Boomer) Brown Nebraska
2004 Carl Eller Minnesota
2004 John Elway Stanford
2004 Barry Sanders Oklahoma State
2003 Marcus Allen Southern California
2003 Elvin Bethea North Carolina A&T
2003 Joe DeLamielleure Michigan State
2003 James Lofton Stanford
2002 Dave Casper Notre Dame
2002 Dan Hampton Arkansas
2002 Jim Kelly Miami (FL)
2002 John Stallworth Alabama A&M
2001 Nick Buoniconti Notre Dame
2001 Mike Munchak Penn State
2001 Jackie Slater Jackson State
2001 Lynn Swann Southern California
2001 Ron Yary Southern California
2001 Jack Youngblood Florida
2000 Howie Long Villanova
2000 Ronnie Lott Southern California
2000 Joe Montana Notre Dame
2000 Dave Wilcox Oregon
1999 Eric Dickerson SMU
1999 Tom Mack Michigan
1999 Ozzie Newsome Alabama
1999 Billy Shaw Georgia Tech
1999 Lawrence Taylor North Carolina
1998 Paul Krause Iowa
1998 Tommy McDonald Oklahoma
1998 Anthony Muñoz Southern California
1998 Mike Singletary Baylor
1998 Dwight Stephenson Alabama
1997 Mike Haynes Arizona State
1997 Mike Webster Wisconsin
1996 Lou Creekmur William & Mary
1996 Dan Dierdorf Michigan
1996 Charlie Joiner Grambling
1996 Mel Renfro Oregon
1995 Henry Jordan Virginia
1995 Steve Largent Tulsa
1995 Lee Roy Selmon Oklahoma
1995 Kellen Winslow Missouri
1994 Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh
1994 Jimmy Johnson UCLA
1994 Leroy Kelly Morgan State
1994 Jackie Smith Northwestern State
1994 Randy White Maryland
1993 Dan Fouts Oregon
1993 Larry Little Bethune-Cookman
1993 Walter Payton Jackson State
1992 Lem Barney Jackson State
1992 John Mackey Syracuse
1992 John Riggins Kansas
1991 Earl Campbell Texas
1991 John Hannah Alabama
1991 Stan Jones Maryland
1991 Jan Stenerud Montana State
1990 Junious (Buck) Buchanan Grambling
1990 Bob Griese Purdue
1990 Franco Harris Penn State
1990 Ted Hendricks Miami (FL)
1990 Jack Lambert Kent State
1990 Bob St. Clair San Francisco^, Tulsa
1989 Mel Bount Southern
1989 Terry Bradshaw Louisiana Tech
1989 Art Shell Maryland Eastern Shore^
1989 Willie Wood Southern California
1988 Fred Biletnikoff Florida State
1988 Mike Ditka Pittsburgh
1988 Jack Ham Penn State
1988 Alan Page Notre Dame
1987 Larry Csonka Syracuse
1987 Len Dawson Purdue
1987 Joe Greene North Texas
1987 John Henry Johnson Arizona State, St. Mary's
1987 Jim Langer South Dakota State
1987 Don Maynard Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso)
1987 Gene Upshaw Texas A&I (now TAMU-Kingsville)
1986 Paul Hornung Notre Dame
1986 Ken Houston Prairie View A&M
1986 Willie Lanier Morgan State
1986 Fran Tarkenton Georgia
1986 Doak Walker SMU
1985 Frank Gatski Auburn, Marshall
1985 Joe Namath Alabama
1985 O.J. Simpson Southern California
1985 Roger Staubach Navy
1984 Willie Brown Grambling
1984 Mike McCormack Kansas
1984 Charley Taylor Arizona State
1984 Arnie Weinmeister Washington
1983 Bobby Bell Minnesota
1983 Sonny Jurgensen Duke
1983 Bobby Mitchell Illinois
1983 Paul Warfield Ohio State
1982 Doug Atkins Tennessee
1982 Sam Huff West Virginia
1982 George Musso Millikin*
1982 Merlin Olsen Utah State
1981 Morris (Red) Badgro Southern California
1981 George Blanda Kentucky
1981 Willie Davis Grambling
1981 Jim Ringo Syracuse
1980 Herb Adderley Michigan State
1980 David (Deacon) Jones South Carolina State
1980 Bob Lilly TCU
1980 Jim Otto Miami (FL)
1979 Dick Butkus Illinois
1979 Yale Lary Texas A&M
1979 Ron Mix Southern California
1979 Johnny Unitas Louisville
1978 Lance Alworth Arkansas
1978 Alphonse (Tuffy) Leemans George Washington^, Oregon
1978 Ray Nitschke Illinois
1978 Larry Wilson Utah
1977 Frank Gifford Southern California
1977 Forrest Gregg SMU
1977 Gale Sayers Kansas
1977 Bart Starr Alabama
1977 Bill Willis Ohio State
1976 Len Ford Michigan, Morgan State
1975 Roosevelt Brown Morgan State
1975 George Connor Holy Cross, Notre Dame
1975 Dante Lavelli Ohio State
1975 Lenny Moore Penn State
1974 Tony Canadeo Gonzaga
1974 Bill George Wake Forest
1974 Lou Groza Ohio State
1973 Raymond Berry SMU
1973 Jim Parker Ohio State
1973 Joe Schmidt Pittsburgh
1972 Gino Marchetti San Francisco^
1972 Ollie Matson San Francisco^
1972 Clarence (Ace) Parker Duke
1971 Jim Brown Syracuse
1971 Bill Hewitt Michigan
1971 Frank (Bruiser) Kinard Ole Miss
1971 Andy Robustelli Arnold College (merged with Bridgeport)
1971 Y.A. Tittle LSU
1971 Norm Van Brocklin Oregon
1970 Jack Christiansen Colorado State
1970 Tom Fears Santa Clara^
1970 Hugh McElhenny Washington
1970 Pete Pihos Indiana
1969 Albert Glen (Turk) Edwards Washington State
1969 Leo Nomelini Minnesota
1969 Ernie Stautner Boston College
1968 Cliff Battles West Virginia Wesleyan
1968 Art Donovan Boston College
1968 Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch Michigan, Wisconsin
1968 Wayne Milner Notre Dame
1968 Marion Motley South Carolina State
1968 Charley Trippi Georgia
1968 Alex Wojciechowicz Fordham
1967 Chuck Bednarik Penn
1967 Bobby Layne Texas
1967 Ken Strong NYU^
1967 Joe Stydahar West Virginia
1967 Emlen Tunnell Iowa, Toledo
1966 Bill Dudley Chattanooga
1966 Joe Guyon Carlisle#
1966 Arnie Herber Regis College (now University)^
1966 Walt Kiesling St. Thomas (MN)*
1966 George McAfee Duke
1966 Hugh (Shorty) Ray Illinois
1966 Clyde (Bulldog) Turner Harden-Simmons*
1965 John (Paddy) Driscoll Northwestern
1965 Dan Fortmann Colgate
1965 Otto Graham Northwestern
1965 Sid Luckman Columbia
1965 Steve Van Buren LSU
1965 Bob Waterfield UCLA
1964 Ed Healey Dartmouth
1964 Clarke Hinkle Bucknell
1964 William Roy (Link) Lyman Nebraska
1964 Mike Michalske Penn State
1964 George Trafton Notre Dame
1963 Sammy Baugh TCU
1963 Earl (Dutch) Clark Colorado College*^
1963 Harold (Red) Grange Illinois
1963 George Halas Illinois
1963 Mel Hein Washington State
1963 Wilbur (Pete) Henry Washington & Jefferson*
1963 Robert (Cal) Hubbard Centenary^
1963 Don Hutson Alabama
1963 Earl (Curly) Lambeau Notre Dame
1963 John (Blood) McNally St. John's (MN)*
1963 Bronko Nagurski Minnesota
1963 Ernie Nevers Stanford
1963 Jim Thorpe Carlisle#

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