SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – Two Syracuse all-time greats are on this year’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot, as Syracuse looks to add to its impressive total of 18 College Football Hall of Fame members, which is second among ACC schools.
Legendary defensive end Dwight Freeney and Marvin Harrison, who went on to be one of the best wideouts in NFL history, are included on this year’s ballot. It’s the fifth time for Harrison and third for Freeney.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said in a release. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”
The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will deliberate and select the class. The Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
Freeney was a unanimous First Team All-American in 2001 and holds the NCAA record for career sacks per game (1.61). The 2001 BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Year, he finished his career as the league’s all-time leader in single season sacks (17.5) after a remarkable senior campaign. He is still Syracuse’s record holder with 50.5 tackles for loss.
The Connecticut native was selected 11th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, where he went on to a 16-year NFL career, making seven Pro Bowls and winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. The first defensive player inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor, Freeney ranks 18th in NFL history with 125.5 career sacks.
Harrison was a First Team All-American in 1995 as a kick returner and was the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year. He left Syracuse ranked third in program history with 135 career receptions, second in touchdowns (22), second in yards (2,728) and was the first Syracuse player to average over 100 yards receiving per game in a single season (102.8 in 1995).
He then went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, making eight Pro Bowls. He is fifth all time with 128 receiving touchdowns and 1,102 catches. He also ranks ninth in NFL history with 14,580 receiving yards. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2023, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A 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, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2023 season.