Impressive group of former Pac-12 Conference stars headline 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, including first-timers Reggie Bush, Andrew Luck, Marshawn Lynch & Toby Gerhart
Four of the greatest football players in Pac-12 Conference history are up for College Football Hall of Fame consideration for the first time, as announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) earlier today. Of the more than 5.47 million individuals who have played college football, only 1,038 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Could these four former Conference superstars join those select few?
Reggie Bush, USC
Bush was the heart and soul of a USC football team that went to back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005. The running back was a two-time First Team All-American, including earning a unanimous selection in 2005 when he rushed for over 1,700 yards and recorded 19 total touchdowns.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) June 3, 2021
Bush was selected second overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, who he helped win a Super Bowl for in 2010.
Andrew Luck, Stanford
Arguably the most hyped football prospect of all time, Andrew Luck was transcendent during his years at Stanford. He was the Heisman runner-up in both 2010 and 2011 when he passed for 3338 and 3517 yards, respectively. Luck still holds the Stanford record for touchdowns (82) and passing efficiency (162.8).
Luck was also known as a prodigious scholar. He did not declare for the 2010 draft so that he could complete his Architectural Design degree and he’d go on to start a book club for his teammates after going pro.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) November 5, 2015
So sought after was the quarterback that he helped start the "tanking" phenomenon, with NFL teams attempting to “suck for Luck.” The Indianapolis Colts ended up taking Luck No. 1 overall where he played six years before stepping away from football for health reasons.
Marshawn Lynch, Cal
Marshawn Lynch starred at Cal’s from 2004-06. The 2006 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year, Lynch led the league in rushing (1,356), all-purpose yards (1,785) and TDs (15) that season. The hulking running-back became a fan favorite for his personality off the field. From his local roots (he grew up just a couple miles away in Oakland) to his infamous joyride celebration, Lynch endeared himself to Cal fans by being authentic and also a bit of an oddball.
Lynch went on to have an illustrious NFL career which included a Super Bowl ring, five pro-bowl rings, and a richter-registering “Beast Quake.”
Two words: Beast. Quake. 😤
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2020
Toby Gerhart, Stanford
Gerhart was the Heisman runner-up in 2009 when he enjoyed one of the greatest seasons any running back has ever had, leading the nation in points (172), TDs (28) and rushing yards (1,871). His crowning achievement came against Notre Dame when he rushed for 205 yard and three scores, and added an 18-yard passing touchdown, as the Cardinal took down the Fighting Irish, 45-38. Gerhart also started as a power-hitting outfielder for the Cardinal baseball team.
Cardinal wins, 45-38
Toby Gerhart ran for 205 yards and 3 TDs, while throwing for another.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) November 29, 2019
Gerhart was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft and ended up having a six-year NFL career.
Other Pac-12 greats on the 2022 ballot include: Jeff Bregel (USC), Mark Carrier (USC), Joe Garten (Colorado), Tony Gonzalez (California), Al Harris (Arizona State), Mike Hass (Oregon State), Chris Hudson (Colorado), John Lee (UCLA), Ken Norton Jr. (UCLA), Ron Rivera (California) and Rashaan Salaam (Colorado).
The Hall of Fame class will be announced in early 2022 and inducted on December 6th, 2022.