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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | February 11, 2022

Here are the former FCS football players in the NFL Hall of Fame

North Dakota State dominates Montana State, secures 9th FCS title

Being named an NFL Hall of Famer is one of the highest accolades a football player — at any level — can achieve. While the road to the NFL Hall of Fame is harder for players at smaller schools, that has not stopped eight former FCS football players from enshrinement.

Here is a look at every former FCS player that is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

FCS NFL Hall of Famers

Disclaimer: Only players who participated in seasons from 1978 and on were used since that is the first year of I-AA/FCS play. Regardless of a school’s current classification, if an institution, post-1978, was not classified as an I-AA/FCS program during any of the seasons that an NFL Hall of Famer played, said player is not featured on this list since he did not play I-AA/FCS football.

Player Position NFL HOF Inducted Year College Collegiate Years Played
Jerry Rice WR 2010 Mississippi Valley State 1981-84
Richard Dent DE 2011 Tennessee State 1979-82
Aeneas Williams DB 2014 Southern 1989-90
Michael Strahan DE 2014 Texas Southern 1989-92
Charles Haley DE/LB 2015 James Madison 1982-85
Kurt Warner QB 2017 Northern Iowa 1989-93
Randy Moss WR 2018 Marshall 1995-97
Terrell Owens WR 2018 Chattanooga 1992-95

Notables

  • The wide receiver position is loaded! Rice, Moss and Owens are arguably the top-three NFL wide receivers of all-time, however you want to order them. All three played college football at the FCS level.
  • Three defensive ends also have made their way from the FCS to the NFL Hall of Fame. Dent, Strahan and Haley each terrorized opposing quarterbacks in college and as pros.
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities dominate the list of former FCS NFL Hall of Famers, taking up half the list; the first four inductees all attended HBCUs.
  • Randy Moss is the lone NFL Hall of Famer to have won an FCS title; he won the 1996 title at Marshall as a redshirt freshman.
  • Kurt Warner is the lone FCS quarterback in the NFL Hall of Fame. While he didn't start until his senior year at Northern Iowa, Warner was named the Gateway Conference's Offensive Player of the Year in his lone season.

Who could be next?

DE Jared Allen

Jared Allen finished as a finalist in 2022 in his second year of eligibility. The Idaho State product won the 2003 Buck Buchanan Award as the best defender in the FCS.

DE Robert Mathis

Robert Mathis finished as a semifinalist in 2022 in his first year of eligibility. Mathis attended Alabama A&M where he set FCS records with a spectacular 2002 season.

QB Steve McNair

Steve McNair was a nominee in 2022. McNair attended Alcorn State, finishing his college career atop numerous FCS passing record lists and taking home the 1994 Walter Payton Award.

S Rodney Harrison

Rodney Harrison was a nominee in 2022. Harrison attended Western Illinois, ending his career as the school’s career-leading tackler.

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