Courtesy: Notre Dame Athletics
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The names of three former University of Notre Dame football all-stars--Bob Crable, Raghib Ismail and Aaron Taylor--appear on the 2013 National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) ballot. The ballot contains names of 77 players and five coaches vying for induction.
The ballot hit the mail to the more than 12,000 members of the NFF and College Hall of Fame whose votes will be recorded and submitted to the Foundation's honors court, which deliberates and is responsible for selecting the class. Gene Corrigan, the former Notre Dame athletic director, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and NCAA past president, chairs the honors court, a 13-member panel.
The Hall of Fame class will be announced May 7 and then inducted at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first-team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for its consensus All-America teams, played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior, played within the last 50 years and be retired from playing professional football.
Coaches must be out of the college coaching profession for at least three years, coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach, not be coaching on the professional level and have won at least 60 percent of their games. In both cases, the candidate's post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, depending on their geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who appears on the ballot and represents their respective districts. Each year, 15 candidates not selected for the Hall of Fame are named automatic holdovers and bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year.
Here are details on the three former Irish players on the ballot:
* Bob Crable - Linebacker - 1980 and 1981 consensus first-team All-American . . . still holds Notre Dame records for most tackles in a career (521), season (187 in 1979) and game (26 vs. Clemson in 1979) . . . His 26 tackles in a game remains an NCAA FBS record-tying effort . . . blocked a last-second Michigan field-goal try in 1979 to preserve an Irish win . . . recovered a fumble that led to a Irish touchdown in Cotton Bowl comeback win over Houston following 1978 season . . . played in 1982 Hula Bowl.
* Raghib Ismail - Wide Receiver - Two-time first-team All-American earning consensus honors in 1989 and unanimous honors in 1990 . . . Walter Camp Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1990 . . . led Notre Dame to a Fiesta Bowl and two Orange Bowls . . . set NCAA record by twice returning two kickoffs for TDs in a single game (Rice 1988, Michigan 1989) . . . finished with 4,187 all-purpose yards . . . led the nation in kickoff returns as freshman in 1988 with 36.1-yard average . . . helped Irish to 1988 national championship.
* Aaron Taylor - Offensive Tackle - Two-time first-team All-America selection in 1992-93 . . . a consensus pick in 1992 and a unanimous selection in 1993 . . . winner of 1993 Lombardi Award . . . named College Interior Lineman of the Year by Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club in 1993 . . . an Outland Trophy finalist in 1993 and a Lombardi finalist in 1992 . . . led Irish teams to four bowl games--Orange, Sugar ands two Cotton Bowls, including wins in last three . . . 1993 team captain who started 30 straight games to end his college career and helped his team in '93 win its first 10 games to reach number-one ranking.
This is Crable's third time on the ballot (also in 2007 and 2010), it's Ismail's second straight appearance--and it's Taylor's first time on the ballot.
Notre Dame has 44 former players and six former coaches already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, providing more inductees than any other institution. The most recent addition is tight end Dave Casper, who was inducted in 2012 and will be enshrined this summer.