Updated, 7:52 p.m. ET
Curtis Martin is not the only football player with Jets connections who could be entering a Hall of Fame this year.
The National Football Foundation mailed out this year’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot this week, and there are a handful of good men on the list who became members of the Green & White after they starred in college.
Vinny Testaverde, for instance, is up for the College Hall this year. The quarterback’s finest season as a Jet was his first, 1998, when he helped guide them to the AFC Championship Game in Denver. More than a decade earlier, of course, Vinny starred for the Miami Hurricanes in 1982 and ’84-85.
Also in the running this year is John “Jumbo” Elliott, who more than a decade before he caught his famous 3-yard touchdown pass from Testaverde in the 2000 “Monday Night Miracle” victory over the dolphins, excelled at tackle for the Michigan Wolverines from 1984-87.
Paul Crane, the Alabama center/linebacker from the early Sixties, played on the Jets’ Super Bowl III team plus a few others during his seasons in green from 1966-72.
Dennis Thurman is the Jets’ secondary coach but more than three decades ago he patrolled Southern Cal’s defensive backfield from 1974-77.
WR Art Monk, who played just one season of his Pro Football Hall of Fame career as a Jet in 1994, is now in consideration for entry into the College HOF after catching pass after pass for Syracuse in the late Seventies.
Those five are among the 76 players and eight coaches on this year’s Football Bowl Subdivision ballot. More than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers are eligible to cast votes. Those votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will then select the Class of 2012.
That class will be announced in New York during a noon ET news conference on May 15. The induction will take place at the foundation’s 55th annual awards dinner on Dec. 4 at the Waldorf-Astoria.
As the NFF likes to say, only 900 have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame — less than .0002 percent of the 4.86 million who have played since Rutgers and Princeton kicked off the college game in 1869. So the odds are long for Vinny, Jumbo, D.T. and Art.
But they’ve all got great chances to enter those hallowed halls, just as Marty Lyons did a year ago. The Jets’ “Sack Exchange” D-lineman and their current radio analyst — and, like Crane, a standout player at Alabama — was in inducted last Dec. 6 into the 16-member Class of ’11. Good luck, guys.
Tags: Art Monk, College Football Hall of Fame, Dennis Thurman, Jumbo Elliott, Marty Lyons, National Football Foundation, Vinny Testaverde
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