Savannah, GA- When football fans across the country hear the name “Adrian Peterson,” they think of the Minnesota Vikings running back who’s headed for the hall-of-fame. But here in Savannah, we think of a different Adrian. Former Georgia Southern star running back Adrian Peterson received a bid today for the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame. To this day, Peterson still holds the NCAA Division I record for all time career rushing yards. During his time in an Eagle’s uniform, Peterson was the only sophomore to win the Walter Peyton Award and a two time player of the year all while leading Southern to two national titles. The 2017 Class will be announced on Friday, January 6, 2017 in Tampa Florida.ARTICLE FROM GEORGIA SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:
ATLANTA – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced Wednesday the names on the 2017 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks. Among those in the divisional category is Georgia Southern University’s Adrian Peterson, who re-wrote the Eagle record book in his playing time for the Eagles.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.12 million people have played college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names. We look forward to announcing the 2017 Hall of Fame Class on the Friday before the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa.”
For Peterson, he still stands as the benchmark for Georgia Southern runningbacks. He was a four-time Walter Camp first-team All-American and is the only sophomore in history to win Walter Payton Award (1999). He is still the NCAA’s Division I all-time leading rusher with6,559 yards and ran for 100 yards or more in 48 consecutive games. He was a two-time SoCon Offensive Player of the Year who led team to consecutive national titles (1999 and 2000).
The ballot was emailed this week to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”
The announcement of the 2017 Class will be made Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Tampa, Florida. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium. Some of the inductees will be on site at the press conference to represent the class and share their thoughts on the announcement. The Jan. 6 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. Inductees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss on Jan. 9.
“We cannot thank CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock and his staff enough for the opportunity to continue this new tradition of announcing our Hall of Fame Class in conjunction with the Championship Game,” said Hatchell. “Our presence at the title game has significantly raised the profile of the announcement, allowing us to shine a much brighter light on the accomplishments of our game’s greatest legends. The announcement of the 2016 Class in Phoenix this past January drew a packed house of the national media, and the event will continue to garner more attention each year as it becomes a signature part of Championship weekend.”
The 2017 class will be inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 5, 2017, at the landmark Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The inductees will be permanently enshrined at the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta later that December and honored on the field during the 13th Annual National Hall of Fame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration includes:
- First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
- A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
- While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. • He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
- Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2017 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1967 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
- A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
* – Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committee.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 5.12 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 977 players, including the 2016 class, have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two ten-thousandths (.0002) of one percent of those who have played the game during the past 147 years. From the coaching ranks, 211 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.