Three Buffs on 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot
BOULDER — Three University of Colorado football players once again made the national ballot for the 2022 class that will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, which the National Football Foundation (NFF) released Wednesday morning.
Offensive guard Joe Garten (1987-90), defensive back Chris Hudson (1991-94) and tailback Rashaan Salaam (1992-94) appear on the ballot for the 2022 class, which will be announced early next year. In all, 78 players have advanced to the national ballot from the district selection process at least once before.
"It's an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.47 million people have played college football and only 1,038 players have been inducted," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "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 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year."
Garten was a two-time first-team All-American, consensus as a junior in 1989 and unanimous as a team captain and senior in 1990, when he finished as the runner-up for the Outland Trophy. He was a member of CU's Big Eight champion teams both years and the '90 consensus national championship team. The Buffaloes were 22-2-1 those two years, rising to No. 1 in the national polls late in both seasons.
Hudson, who played both safety and cornerback during his CU career, was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior in 1994, when he also won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. He is one of six Buffaloes in history to earn first-team All-Conference honors three times, at corner as a sophomore and senior and at free safety his junior year. He had 141 career tackles with 15 interceptions – second-most in CU annals – and 20 passes broken up. He helped CU to an 11-1 mark his last season despite playing the bulk of the year with a turf toe injury.
Salaam, CU's only Heisman Trophy winner, passed away on Dec. 5, 2016, became the fourth player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season at the time when he rambled for 2,055 yards in 1994. He also claimed the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back, the Walter Camp Trophy for the national player of the year and was a unanimous first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Eight, also selected the conference's offensive player of the year.
Other Buffaloes on the district ballot include Eric Bieniemy (tailback, 1987-90), Deon Figures (cornerback, 1988-92) and Matt Russell (linebacker, 1993-96). Bieniemy has previous advanced to the national ballot, but since he is an active coach in the NFL, he isn't eligible for selection until his coaching days are complete.
The 2020 and 2021 classes will be inducted this Dec. 7 in Las Vegas. CU's Michael Westbrook is a member of the 2020 class, and he will become the eighth Buffalo player to be enshrined, along with one coach, Bill McCartney. Westbrook will be honored with an on-field celebration by the NFF on Oct. 2 when CU hosts Southern California.
Previous CU players inducted include Byron White, Joe Romig, Bobby Anderson, Dick Anderson, Alfred Williams, John Wooten and Herb Orvis.