Jason Hanson Set for Oct. 16 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute
IRVING, Texas (Oct. 14, 2021) – Washington State University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor 2020 College Football Hall of Fame electee Jason Hanson with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place this Saturday, Oct. 16, during the Cougars' home football game against Stanford. Coverage of the game will start at 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
"It's kind of surreal to look back at what happened at Washington State and how much fun it was walking on there to now being in something so selective as the College Football Hall of Fame," Hanson said in a Washington State release after the announcement in March 2020. "It's so special it's almost overwhelming, it's really cool."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in the Hall of Fame experience.
During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each electee returns to his respective school to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will stay on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many Hall of Famers cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and be recognized in front of their home crowd.
The 2020 and 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Classes will be officially inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas Dec. 7 at the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas. (The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19.)
"Jason Hanson represents the student-athlete ideal, earning NFF National Scholar-Athlete honors while his booming leg helped him set multiple records," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are thrilled to honor him at Martin Stadium."
A two-time First Team All-America kicker, Hanson became Washington State's first unanimous selection during his sophomore year and was recognized by the FWAA in 1991. He was also a Third Team All-America punter as a junior and was named to the Freshman All-America Team in 1988.
The Spokane, Washington, native holds several NCAA records, including career field goals of 40 yards or more (39) and 50 yards or more (20). A four-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection, Hanson earned the honor as a both a kicker and a punter in 1990. He set the Pac-10 record by making 57.1 percent of his field goals from 50 yards or longer, highlighted by a still-standing Washington State and conference record 62-yarder against UNLV in 1991.
Hanson set 15 school records by career's end, and he currently ranks second all-time at Washington State in career points (328), field goals made (63) and PATs made (139).
As a freshman for College Football Hall of Fame coach Dennis Erickson, Hanson helped the Cougars to a No. 16 final ranking and an Aloha Bowl victory, securing the school's first postseason win in 73 seasons and its first nine-win season since 1930. He was also key in leading the Cougars to their first-ever win against a No. 1 team in 1988 against UCLA, in which he kicked field goals of 48 and 50 yards.
Matching his on-field success in the classroom, the 1991 NFF National Scholar-Athlete was a three-time First Team Academic All-American and First Team Academic All-Pac-10 honoree. A teammate of Hall of Famer Mike Utley during his time in Pullman, Hanson capped his standout collegiate career playing in both the East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl.
A second-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, Hanson spent 21 seasons with the Detroit Lions. The fourth-leading scorer in NFL history is the only player with 2,000 career points for one franchise, and he was the first player to play 300 games for one team. The two-time Pro Bowler holds every placekicking record in Lions history, and he was inducted into the team's ring of honor in 2013.
An active Christian speaker, Hanson has participated in Habitat for Humanity and helped establish Providence Youth Outreach in Pontiac, Michigan, which helps at-risk youth. A member of the Pac-12 All-Century Team and Detroit Lions 75th Season All-Time Team, he has been inducted into the Washington State University Athletics, State of Michigan Sports and CoSIDA Academic All-America halls of fame.
Hanson becomes the fifth Cougar player in the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Glen Edwards (1929-31), Mel Hein (1928-30), Rueben Mayes (1982-85) and Mike Utley (1985-88).
Four former Washington State coaches are also in the Hall: William "Lone Star" Dietz (1915-17), Dennis Erickson (1987-88), Forest Evashevski (1950-51) and Babe Hollingbery (1926-42).
The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes Lomas Brown (Florida), Keith Byars (Ohio State), Eric Crouch (Nebraska), Eric Dickerson (SMU), Glenn Dorsey (LSU), John "Jumbo" Elliott (Michigan), Jason Hanson (Washington State), E.J. Henderson (Maryland), E.J. Junior (Alabama), Steve McNair (Alcorn State), Cade McNown (UCLA), Leslie O'Neal (Oklahoma State), Anthony Poindexter (Virginia), David Pollack (Georgia), Bob Stein (Minnesota), Michael Westbrook (Colorado), Elmo Wright (Houston) and coaches Dick Sheridan (Furman, North Carolina State), and Andy Talley (St. Lawrence [NY], Villanova).
The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes Harris Barton (North Carolina), David Fulcher (Arizona State), Dan Morgan (Miami [FL]), Carson Palmer (Southern California), Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois), Kenneth Sims (Texas), C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Darren Sproles (Kansas State), Aaron Taylor (Notre Dame), Andre Tippett (Iowa), Al Wilson (Tennessee) and coaches Rudy Hubbard (Florida A&M) and Bob Stoops (Oklahoma).
The accomplishments of both classes will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings.
Including the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame Classes, only 1,038 players and 223 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.47 million who have played or coached the game during the past 152 years. In other words, less that two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.
Currently Scheduled NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes,
Presented by Fidelity Investments
Date – Honoree (Hall of Fame Class) – School (Opponent)
- Oct. 16 – Harris Barton (2021) – North Carolina (vs. Miami [FL])
- Oct. 16 – Jason Hanson (2020) – Washington State (vs. Stanford)
- Oct. 16 – Anthony Poindexter (2020) – Virginia (vs. Duke)
- Oct. 16 – Coach Dick Sheridan (2020) – Furman (vs. The Citadel)
- Oct. 16 – Bob Stein (2020) – Minnesota (vs. Nebraska)
- Oct. 23 – E.J. Junior (2020) – Alabama (vs. Tennessee)
- Oct. 23 – Cade McNown (2020) – UCLA (vs. Oregon)
- Oct. 30 – Keith Byars (2020) – Ohio State (vs. Penn State)
- Oct. 30 – E.J. Henderson (2020) – Maryland (vs. Indiana)
- Oct. 30 – Coach Dick Sheridan (2020) – NC State (vs. Louisville)