Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
The National Football Foundation has released the list of players and coaches being considered for selection to the Hall of Fame. The new class will be announced on January 8th in Arizona, the site of this year’s College Football Playoff championship game. Among the first time candidates on the ballot is former Indiana Hoosier Antwaan Randle El.
Randle El, one of the greatest IU football players of all-time, was a 2001 First Team consensus All-American and was the first player in FBS history to pass for 6,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in career. He left Indiana as the all-time FBS rushing leader for quarterbacks. Randle El stared at IU from 1998 to 2001, debuting in 1998 against the Western Michigan Broncos with a performance that would become the norm for the dual-threat dynamo. He gashed the Broncos for 385 yards through the air (with 3 touchdowns) and 82 yards on the ground (with 3 more touchdowns). His 467 total yards of offense broke the NCAA freshman total offense record. He would go on to set multiple Indiana records and would become the first player in FBS history to pass for 40 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns. In 2001, he was named the Big Ten’s MVP and finished his career with 7,469 passing yards, 3,895 rushing yards and 92 touchdowns.
After starring at IU, Randle El had a successful NFL career and is currently a sideline analyst for the Big Ten Network.
There are a lot of great names on the ballot (Matt Leinart, Eric Crouch, Eric Dickerson, Derrick Brooks, Rod Woodson, Kerry Collins, Morten Andersen, Raghib Ismail just to name a few). All would be worthy of Hall of Fame selection. As an IU fan that felt like Randle El was slighted and ignored during his time at IU, I sincerely hope that his accomplishments are weighed by the voters for what they were, astounding and record-breaking. Regardless of whether or not he is chosen this year, Randle El is an IU legend and at least one man believes his name belongs in the same place as college football’s other all-time greats.