According to their press release, the NFF claims that nearly 5 million individuals have played in organized college football and, of them, less than 1,000 are hall of famers. This year, two Husky Legends have the opportunity to join their ranks.
Former UW running back Greg Lewis and offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy have been nominated by the NFF for induction into this year's College Football Hall of Fame class. The new Husky greats join a list of 75 other D1 level players and six coaches that includes names like Warren Sapp, Brian Bosworth, Keyshawn Johnson, Eric Dickerson, Tony Boselli, Rocket Ismail, Ron Rivera, Ricky Williams, LaDanian Tomlinson and Kirk Gibson (yes, that Kirk Gibson).
To qualify for the ballot, each player must be nominated and vetted by a screening committee before moving into a general committee made up of veterans of the college game. To even qualify for the ballot, nominees must have achieved First Team All-American status at least once in their career, they must be at least 10 years graduated and the must no longer be playing professional football. According to Chairman Archie Manning, this year's ballot will now go to 12,000 members to vote upon with the winners being recognized at a ceremony planned in early December. The release of the inductee list will come sometime in May.
Though not often recognized in debates amongst younger fans about who the best UW running back of all time may be, Greg Lewis is one of the most accomplished backs to ever come out of UW. He is most famous as the first ever recipient of the Doak Walker award, given annually to the nation's top running back, when he won the award in 1990. It was also in 1990 that Lewis was a first team All-American and the Pac 10 Player of the Year as he ended the season finishing seventh in the Heisman balloting. Lewis was drafted in 1991 by the Denver Broncos.
Lincoln Kennedy is widely considered the best UW offensive lineman of all time, leading a long list of accomplished road graders that includes the likes of Bern Brostek, Olin Kreutz, Bob Sapp and Khalif Barnes. Kennedy was a leader on one of the best Huskies teams of all time - leading a crew that won three straight Rose Bowls and a National Title. Kennedy was a unanimous first team All-American in 1992 and is one of just three Pac 10 players to twice win the Morris Trophy awarded to the conferences best lineman. He was selected by the Oakland Raiders ninth overall in 1993 and was twice an All Pro before retiring from the NFL in 2003.
The Huskies have 11 players already inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. That list includes the likes of Steve Emtman, Hugh McElhenny, Vic Markov, Chuck Carroll, Don Heinrich, Max Starcevich, George Wilson, Rick Redman, Bob Scholredt, and Paul Schwgler. Four former coaches, including Don James, Gil Dobie, Jim Phelan and Darrell Royal, are also College Football Hall of Famers.