State schools

Florida, FSU and UCF lead public schools with HOF candidates

Warrick Dunn helped Florida State win its first national championship in 1993 before wrapping up a stellar career that saw him become the Seminoles’ all-time leading runner. He is also one of 13 Florida Schools players participating in this year’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who helped lead the Gators to two national titles by winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007, was among 19 first-time candidates on the ballot.

Two other former FSU standouts joined Dunn in receiver Peter Warrick (1996-99) and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (1997-99).

Warrick was a two-time All-American who helped the Seminoles win their second national championship in the 1999 season. He finished with 3,517 receiving yards and a record 32 receiving touchdowns. Janikowski won the Lou Groza Award in consecutive seasons (1998-99) capped by the Seminoles’ national title win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.

Former Gators Brad Culpepper (1988-91) and Errict Rhett (1990-93) joined Tebow in this year’s ballot.

Culpepper was a two-time All-SEC draft pick as a defensive tackle while powering Florida’s road to its first SEC title in 1991. His 47.5 career tackles for loss rank sixth in history from the school and remain a record among defensive linemen. Rhett was a first-team All-American during his career, which included finishing with a record 4,163 rushing yards.

Ken Dorsey was among three former Miami players on the ballot, along with linebacker Ray Lewis (1993-95) and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (2000-01). Dorsey led the Hurricanes to back-to-back appearances in BCS Championship games, guiding UM to a national title in the 2001 season.

Lewis ranks sixth all-time in school history with 388 tackles, and his performance has helped Miami appear in the Fiesta and Orange Bowls. McKinnie won the Outland Trophy for the nation’s top offensive lineman in 2001 while helping the team win its fifth national title. ‘

There was 80 players and nine coach candidates in this year’s Football Bowl subdivision ballot, with 96 players and 33 coach candidates on the divisional ballot. To be eligible, players must be 10 years out of their last college football season and have completed their professional career. They must also have been named to the first-team All-American.

Coaches are eligible three seasons after retirement or immediately after retirement if over 70 years old. Candidates must have been a head coach for at least a decade and have coached at least 100 games and won at least 60% of their games. .

The Hurricanes also voted on two coaching candidates in Larry Coker and Mark Richt.

Coker took over the Miami program in 2001 after Butch Davis left to take over as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Coker led the Hurricanes to back-to-back BCS Championship appearances in 2001-02 while winning the title in his first year as head coach. He finished with a 60-15 record in six seasons in South Florida.

Richt returned to his alma mater in 2016 after a 14-year career in Georgia. He led the Hurricanes to a 26-13 record, including winning the program’s first ACC Coastal Division title in 2017, before retiring in 2018.

Receivers Bernard Ford (1985-87) and David Rhodes (1991-94), along with kickers Ed O’Brien (1984-87) and Charlie Pierce (1995-96), were among four UCF players from return to the divisional ballot.

Ford led the Knights with 1,180 receiving yards in 1987 and finished with 21 career touchdowns while Rhodes is the school record holder for receptions (213), receiving yards (3,618) and touchdowns on reception (29). O’Brien finished his career second all-time in program history with 50 field goals made and the first field goals attempted (77). Pierce, who helped the Knights to the FCS playoffs in 1993, finished his career third in school history in punts (173) and punt distance (7,111). ).

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.