Three Illini legends added to College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Simeon Rice

June 2, 2021

(Press release courtesy the National Football Foundation and the University of Illinois Sports Information Office)

IRVING, Texas – The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced today the names on the 2022 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including former Fighting Illini Moe GardnerKevin Hardy and Simeon Rice. A total of 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks are included on this year's ballot.

Seventeen former Illini are currently enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, with linebacker Dana Howard as the most recent inductee in 2018. Howard joined 16 previously selected Fighting Illini in the hall of fame, including college football legends Red Grange (inducted 1951) and Dick Butkus (inducted 1983).

Moe Gardner

The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, 2022, and permanently immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during the 2022 season.

2022 Illinois College Football Hall of Fame Candidates

DT Moe Gardner, Illinois: Two-time First Team All-American (unanimous-'89, consensus-'90) ... 1990 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 1989 Big Ten Lineman of the Year ... Three-time First Team All-Conference pick and set school record for career tackles for loss (57) ... Chosen by Atlanta in the fourth round of the 1991 NFL draft.

Kevin Hardy

LB Kevin Hardy, Illinois: 1995 Butkus Award winner and consensus First Team All-American with 105 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and three interceptions ... Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who helped Illini to two bowl berths ... Team captain started 45 games (second all-time among Illini LBs) and ranks fifth all-time at Illinois in sacks (18) and eighth TFL (38) ... Chosen by Jacksonville as the No. 2 pick in the 1996 NFL draft.

LB Simeon Rice, Illinois: Two-time First Team All-American and three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection ... Holds conference and school record for career sacks (44.5) and Illini record for career tackles for loss (69) ... Set school record for single-season sacks (16) ... Chosen by Arizona as the No. 3 pick in the 1996 NFL draft.

Illini in the College Football Hall of Fame (17)

Alex Agase, G (inducted 1963)
Bob Blackman, coach (inducted 1987)
Al Brosky, DB (inducted 1998)
Dick Butkus, LB (inducted 1983)
Chuck Carney, WR (inducted 1966)
J.C. Caroline, RB (inducted 1980)
Pete Elliot, coach (incudcted 1993)
Jim Grabowski, RB (inducted 1995)
Harold "Red" Grange, RB (inducted 1951)
Edward K. Hall, coach (inducted 1951)
Dana Howard, LB (will be inducted 2018)
Bart Macomber, RB (inducted 1972)
Bernie Shively, G (inducted 1982)
David Williams, WR (inducted 2005)
George W. Woodruff, coach (inducted 1963)
Claude "Buddy" Young, RB (inducted 1968)
Robert Zuppke, coach (inducted 1951)

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