Three Former Spartans on 2014 HOF Ballot

The 2014 College Football Hall Of Fame ballot was released Thursday, which included three familiar names to Spartan fans.

Receiver Kirk Gibson and running backs Clinton Jones and Lorenzo White were nominated to the exclusive club.

Kirk Gibson was a four year starter for MSU, leading the Big Ten in receptions in 1976, receiving yards in 1976 and 1978, yards per reception in 1978 and receiving touchdowns in 1975 and 1976.

However, Gibson is better known by baseball fans.

He played for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was named the National League MVP in 1988 and is the current manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Clinton Jones was an All-American running back in 1966 and 1967, and he was also an All-American on the Michigan State track & field team.

He played a big role in the Spartans’ consecutive National Championships in football in 1965 and 1966.

Jones finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1966 while rushing for 787 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He was the second overall pick in the 1967 draft and played six seasons in the NFL.

Lorenzo White was arguably Michigan State’s greatest running back.

In the 1985 season he rushed for 2,066 yards, becoming the first Big Ten running back to ever break the 2,000 yard rushing barrier in a single season.

White had a successful pro career, playing eight seasons after being drafted in the first round by the Houston Oilers.

His best NFL season came in 1992 for the Oilers when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

Only .0002 percent of college football players in the past 145 years have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, largely due to strict requirements laid out by the National Football Foundation.

  • In order to be eligible, a player must:
  1. Have been selected as a First-Team All-American by a national outlet that is recognized by the NCAA.
  2. Have played their last collegiate season at least 10 years ago, and played in the last 50 years.
  3. Not currently be playing in the NFL.

As an example of how exclusive this group of players is, Notre Dame’s legendary quarterback Joe Montana will never be in the College Football Hall of Fame since he was not on an NCAA recognized All-American team.

Other notable players on the 2014 ballot include Southern Methodist University running back Eric Dickerson, University of Southern California receiver Keyshawn Johnson and University of Miami linebacker Ray Lewis.

Dan Tyler is the host of Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports

Photo: College Football Hall of Fame