THE FLATS -
Former Georgia Tech football stars Marco Coleman and Lucius Sanford are among 76 former NCAA Division I FBS student-athletes included on the ballot for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced on Monday.
Coleman and Sanford were selected from a pool of hundreds of nominees to be included on the 2019 ballot. The ballot has been emailed 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 will 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, includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletics administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
"It's an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.26 million people have played college football and only 997 players have been inducted," said NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Hall's requirement of being a first-team all-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today's elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and those actually elected to the class will be part of a momentous year as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football in 2019."
Coleman was a three-year starter and two-time first-team all-ACC and all-America selection as an outside linebacker at Georgia Tech from 1989-91. He was a key member of the Yellow Jackets' 1990 national championship squad and finished his three-year collegiate career as Tech's all-time leader in sacks (27.5) and tackles for loss (50) -- he now ranks fourth in school history in both categories.
He was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 12th overall pick in the 1992 National Football League Draft and went on to record 65.5 sacks and 520 tackles over the course of a 14-year NFL career (1992-2005) that included stints with the Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos.
Sanford also played linebacker for the Yellow Jackets from 1974-77. He was a three-time all-South Independent selection and earned first-team all-America honors as a senior in 1977. A four-year starter and two-year team captain, he led Georgia Tech in tackles in each of his final three seasons and finished his career as the program's all-time leading tackler with 433. His 433 career tackles stood as Tech's record for 14 years and still ranks fourth in the school's all-time annals.
He was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the 89th overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft and went on to enjoy a 10-year career with the Bills (1978-86) and Cleveland Browns (1987). He played before tackles became an official NFL statistic but recorded more than 100 tackles in each of his first four NFL seasons. He started the second game of his rookie season at outside linebacker and remained a starter for nine of his 10 NFL seasons.
Sanford, who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in industrial management and pursued an MBA while playing in the NFL, spent nine years in the financial services industry after the conclusion of his football career, working for Merrill Lynch, Chase Manhattan and Equitable. He joined the Georgia Tech Athletic Association staff since 1998 and currently serves as the executive director of Tech's Letterwinners Association.
The College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, Calif., prior to the College Football Playoff national championship game, and will be inducted on Dec. 10, 2019 as part of the 62nd NFF Honors Dinner in New York.
Fifteen former Georgia Tech student-athletes and three former coaches of the Yellow Jackets are already inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame, which is located just one mile from Tech's midtown Atlanta campus. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson will become Tech's 19th College Football Hall of Famer when he is officially inducted on Dec. 4 of this year in New York.
Johnson's Hall of Fame career will be honored at a yet-to-be-announced game during Georgia Tech's 2018 campaign, which kicks off when the Yellow Jackets host Alcorn State on Sept. 1 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Season-ticket holders are guaranteed the best seats for all six games at Bobby Dodd Stadium this season -- including pivotal matchups versus defending Atlantic Coast Conference division champions Clemson (Sept. 22) and Miami (Nov. 10). Other exclusive benefits for season-ticket holders include:
- an exclusive Tech Gold adidas performance t-shirt -- one for every ticket purchased, all adult sizes available (a $40 value per ticket);
- a 20-percent discount at selected concession stands throughout Bobby Dodd Stadium;
- a 25-percent discount at Georgia Tech Bookstore locations at the stadium;
- a one-time discount on purchases at adidas.com;
- a limited-edition Georgia Tech water bottle (one per account);
- an official Georgia Tech clear bag;
- complimentary guest tickets to one non-conference game;
- Alexander-Tharpe Fund priority points;
- free Buzz Memories credits;
- priority entry to 2018 Fan Day in August;
- priority to purchase away game tickets.
Great seats are still available. For more information and to purchase season tickets, click HERE or call the Georgia Tech athletics ticket office at 888-TECH-TIX.