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Alex Smith, Eric Weddle Named to 2023 Ballot For College Football Hall Of Fame

Jun 6, 2022

IRVING, Texas – Two former University of Utah Football standouts, quarterback Alex Smith and safety Eric Weddle, were named to the 2023 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Smith and Weddle are among 80 players and nine coaches from the FBS and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks. The ballot was sent to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers today with the 2023 class being announced in early 2023.

Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 after earning first-team All-America honors in 2004, finished his career at Utah with 5,203 passing yards and 47 touchdowns along with 1,072 rushing yards and 15 rushing scores. He was a two-time All-MWC selection, earning MWC Offensive Player of the Year and National Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2004.

The 2005 Fiesta Bowl MVP went on to have a 16-year career in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl invitations three times and being named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after returning to the field from a gruesome leg injury that almost took his life. Off the field, the 2020 Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductee founded the Alex Smith Foundation, which provides foster teens with the tools and resources needed to transition to successful adulthood.

Weddle wrapped up his career at Utah with 277 tackles, which included 165 solo stops, 10.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss, along with nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries (2 TD), 18 interceptions (3 TD) and 23 pass breakups. He held the Mountain West record in interceptions (18), still ranking second all-time at Utah.

He was the MWC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006, also earning first-team All-MWC in those years to become a four-time all-conference selection. He was a consensus All-American in 2006, also earning Freshman All-America by the FWAA in 2003.

Weddle spent 14 years in the NFL, earning two All-Pro first-team selections, three second-team nods, six Pro Bowl invites and helped the L.A. Rams win the Super Bowl LVI in 2021 after coming out of retirement. He also has launched a jewelry line to benefit organizations providing resources to domestic violence victims while also supporting charities with his wife, Chanel, to fight against childhood cancer and breast cancer.

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.