Jason Hanson Inducted into NFF College Football Hall of Fame
LAS VEGAS (December 7, 2021) -- The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame formally inducted the 2020 and 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Classes Tuesday evening during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Washington State Hall of Famer and All-American kicker Jason Hanson, part of the 2020 class, became the fifth Cougar player inducted into the College Hall of Fame.
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.