NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06: Thomas Howard #53 of the Cincinnati Bengals draws a pass interference call as he defends a pass to Jared Cook #89 of the Tennessee Titans during play at LP Field on November 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Ok everyone, the SB Nation network is putting together a college football Hall of Fame, and they need our help in nominating some players. Certain stipulations with the actual CFB Hall of Fame make it such that much deserving players won't have a chance to make it in for years, if ever.
So, our part for the SB Nation hall, will be to nominate as many as five UTEP players from the following positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, ST, and Coach. Here are the requirements for eligibility:
1.) For Players, or Inactive Coaches: Players or inactive coaches must have been out of college football for four full years. That includes from 1962 up until the 2007 football season (into 2008 bowl games).
2.) For Active Coaches: Coaches who have not finished their careers by the 2007 football seasons will have had to have served in their current position for at least 5 years. Note: coach must have 5 years at certain position, not 5 years at a school.
Also, considering that we are the only site to represent a Conference USA school, we should take it upon ourselves, to nominate players from other C-USA schools. And, I know that there are fans of other schools that come around our site, so please take this as an opportunity to sign up, and get players from your schools recognized.
Here's how this post will go:
I am going to just set up a list of players, of course, with a ton being UTEP players, but also a handful of others, being from other schools currently in Conference USA. Please give your input in the comments, and if you have any other ideas for players, put it in the comments as well.
We need to have our nominations in by 9:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday June 26th, 2012. So this initial post will be in an effort to get as many players considered as possible, and later in the week, we'll a follow up, with a revised list. Make sure to take part in this!!! Here we go.
Thomas Howard (2003-2006): Howard came to UTEP as a walkon, but has constantly surprised, and continues to perform at a high level to this day. As a Miner, Howard went on to be named the WAC All-Freshman team, second team All-WAC as a junior, and was even named the preseason defensive player of the year for the state of Texas as a senior. Howard has been a solid player at the NFL level now since 2006, and was the leading tackler for the Bengals a season ago.
Tony Tolbert (1986-1989): Tolbert undoubtedly had his best season as a Miner in his senior year. That year, he was a part of the most successful team UTEP has ever seen. Tolbert recorded 10 sacks on the season (tying a school record), and made over 100 tackles on his way to being named All-WAC. He went on to enjoy a nine year NFL career, and was named to the Pro Bowl one time.
Brian Natkin (1997-2000): Natkin is one of only two consensus All-Americans that UTEP has ever seen. In 2000, he led all TEs in the nation with 64 catches for 787 yards. He finished his career with 172 catches (2nd all time at UTEP), and 1,934 yards (6th all time). He was also named to the All-WAC team three times. Natkin enjoyed a 3 year NFL career with the Titans and Rams, and is now a coach for the Miners.
Chuck Hughes (1963-1966): Hughes was a beast of a player for the Miners as a WR in the 1960s. He holds various UTEP (Texas Western) records including most all purpose yards in a game (401, also is 2nd on list with 360 in another game same year), most yards per reception with an amazing 34.9 ypc average in 1965, most receptions in a single game with 17, first in all purpose yards per game with 204 pg in 65', and also hold the record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,519 (65'). Hughes was drafted by the Eagles in 1967, but never lived up to his numbers in college. In 1971, while playing for the Detroit Lions, Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack, and died on the field. He remains the only player in NFL history, to die on the field during a game.
Robert Rodriguez (2001-2004): Rodriguez is another great Miner LB, and played alongside Thomas Howard for a couple years as well. He ranks fifth in tackles all time for UTEP with 443, including 33 tackles for loss. Rodriguez also led the WAC in tackles in three out of his four years as a Miner. In 2004, Rodriguez was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year, after racking up 121 tackles, and 16 for loss. He was also named to the East-West shrine game, and experienced a three year professional career. He is now coaching the LBs for UTEP.
Barron Wortham (1990-1993): ***This is unofficial*** In his Miner career, Wortham apparrently tallied 566 tackles. I'm not sure, but that could be the all time NCAA record. I think we need some clarification on whether that number is correct, and whether or not that is the all time record. Wortham also went on to a 6 year NFL career.
Johnnie Lee Higgins (2003-2006): Higgins finished his Miner career as the all time leader in receiving yards (3,218), and also had the most catches in a single season with 82. After his UTEP career, Higgins played 5 years with the Raiders, and more recently spent some time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ed Hochuli (1969-1972): Hochuli was a LB for the Miners between 69' and 72', and he was even named All-WAC in 1972. But, he is more known for being an NFL referee. And, it could be argued, that Hochuli is now the face of NFL referees. He has been the head official for two Super Bowls, and has been an alternate for a handful of others.
Other Miners worth mentioning include: John Harvey (All time leading rusher for UTEP), Lee Mays (All time leader in receptions 200), Charlie West (All time leading in interceptions, 19 career, 11 single season), Tony Perea (Single season leading tackler, 192), Quentin Demps
Other C-USA Schools:
I think most of these names will go without mentioning stats, so I'll just mention the names.
David Garrard - ECU - (1999-2002)
Ahmad Bradshaw - Marshall - (2004-2006)
Randy Moss - Marshall - (1995-1997)
DeAngelo Williams - Memphis - (2002-2005)
Brett Favre - Southern Miss - (1987-1990)
Matt Forte - Tulane - (2004-2007)
Roddy White - UAB - (2001-2004)
Brandon Marshall - UCF (2002-2005)
Asante Samuel - UCF (1999-2002)
I should note, that some of my dates could be off, so if they are forgive me for that. Also, most of the C-USA players that I named are currently in the NFL. Obviously, there are a ton more from 1962 on that I may have no idea about. That's your part. Make sure chime to in, and let us know who you think should be in the SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame.