Thirteen players and two coaches have been chosen for the College Football Hall of Fame as members of its Class of 2019, the National Football Foundation announced last week.
But who are the new Hall of Famers?
Their names will be revealed on Monday, during the 8 a.m. CST showing of “SportsCenter” on ESPN2.
The ballot for the Class of 2019 included 76 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks, including Alabama’s E.J. Junior.
Junior was one of the 11 former SEC players on the ballot. Ninety players from the SEC already are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
In addition to Junior, the nominees to join those 90 players from the SEC this year are Florida offensive tackle Lomas Brown, Arkansas guard Brandon Burlsworth, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, LSU running back Kevin Faulk, Tennessee safety Bobby Majors, wide receiver Larry Seivers and linebacker Al Wilson, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Georgia defensive end David Pollack and Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis.
A closer look at this year’s SEC nominees:
Lomas Brown, Florida, offensive tackle, 1981-84: Brown won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and was a consensus All-American in 1984, when Florida finished first in the conference for the first time (although that title was later vacated). Brown played 18 NFL seasons, including seven as a Pro Bowl selection.
Brandon Burlsworth, Arkansas, guard, 1995-98: Burlsworth was a walk-on who initially was known more for his thick, black glasses and resemblance to comedian Drew Carey, but he ended up starting 34 consecutive games for the Razorbacks and playing a key role for their 1998 Western Division title team. If elected, he’d become the first Arkansas player from the Razorbacks’ SEC era to earn enshrinement. Burlsworth died in a traffic accident 11 days after being picked in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Burlsworth Trophy has been given annually since 2010 to the outstanding NCAA FBS player who began his career as a walk-on.
Tim Couch, Kentucky, quarterback, 1996-98: As a senior, Couch set SEC records for pass completions with 400, passing yards with 4,275, completion percentage at .723 and yards of total offense at 4,151. He became the first SEC player with more than 4,000 yards of total offense in a season. Couch finished fourth in the 1998 Heisman Trophy balloting and was the first player selected in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Kevin Faulk, LSU, running back, 1995-98: Faulk is the SEC’s leader in career all-purpose yards with 6,833 – 4,557 rushing, 600 receiving, 832 punt-return and 844 kickoff-return yards. That’s 952 more all-purpose yards than any other player in SEC history. He’s No. 2 on the SEC’s all-time touchdown list with 53.
E.J. Junior, Alabama, defensive end, 1977-1980: A three-time All-SEC selection, Junior was a unanimous All-American in 1980. During his four seasons with Alabama, the Crimson Tide compiled a 24-1 conference record and a 44-4 overall mark. The 1978 team won the AP national title and the 1979 squad earned consensus national-championship recognition.
Bobby Majors, Tennessee, defensive back, 1969-71: Majors’ older brother, Johnny, is a Hall of Fame member, and like his brother, Bobby excelled in more than one phase of the game. He intercepted 10 passes to lead the nation in 1970, when the Volunteers made an SEC-record 36 interceptions. The next year, he was a unanimous All-American. Majors finished his career as Tennessee’s leader in punt-return yards in a season and a career.
Darren McFadden, running back, Arkansas, 2005-2007: McFadden was the second player to finish second twice in the Heisman Trophy voting — in 2006 and 2007, when he was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year both years. McFadden also won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back in both those seasons and received the Walter Camp Award as the national player of the year in 2007. When McFadden left Arkansas, he ranked second in SEC history in career rushing yards, and he’s still second in the league record book for career all-purpose yards.
David Pollack, Georgia, defensive end, 2001-2004: Pollack is the only two-time winner of the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was also a two-time consensus All-American, and he was a first-team All-American for at least one major selector in three seasons. As a senior, he received the Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player, Lombardi Award as the nation’s best lineman or linebacker, and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which considers personal character and athletic excellence to determine the nation’s top defensive player. He also won the Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end twice.
Larry Seivers, Tennessee, wide receiver, 1974-76: Seivers is one of the 27 SEC players who has been a consensus All-American more than once. Seivers led the SEC in receiving in 1975 and 1976, catching 41 passes for a league-leading 840 yards in 1975 and making 51 catches for 737 yards in 1976. When he left Tennessee, he was the Volunteers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.
Patrick Willis, Ole Miss, linebacker, 2003-2006: Willis was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the 2006 season. He also won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker and was a consensus All-American that season. Willis led the SEC in tackles as a junior and as a senior.
Al Wilson, Tennessee, linebacker, 1995-1998: Wilson was a consensus All-American and team captain for the Tennessee squad that won the first BCS national-championship in 1998. The Volunteers won their second straight SEC crown that season, and they haven’t won it since. During Wilson’s four seasons on Rocky Top, Tennessee compiled a 29-3 SEC record and a 45-5 overall mark.
SEC members Arkansas and Texas A&M also have players on the ballot that pre-date those schools’ membership in the SEC — defensive tackle Dan Hampton of the Razorbacks and defensive lineman Jacob Green of the Aggies.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have been named a first-team All-American by a selector used by the NCAA in determining the consensus All-American team, be at least 10 years but not more than 50 years removed from his final college season, and no longer be an active pro player. The Veterans Committee can make recommendations that allow for the inductions of players from more than 50 years ago.
While the selection process includes college nominations, District Steering Committees and a vote by the more than 12,000 members of the National Football Foundation, the NFF Honors Court makes the final selections for the Hall of Fame class.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.