Dallas Clark. Eric Dickerson. Marvin Harrison.
When it comes to the Indianapolis Colts franchise, few players, if any, were better at their perspective positions.
But had it not been for standout careers at the college level, perhaps none of them would have ever played in the National Football League, let alone become fan favorites in Indianapolis.
And, by early next year, all three could have a shot at being enshrined among the greatest college football players in the history of the game.
The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame today announced the names on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019, a list that includes 76 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Twelve of those players — eight at the FBS level, and four from the divisional ranks — are former Colts players: guard Brandon Burlsworth; Clark, a tight end; Dickerson; a running back; Harrison; a wide receiver; running back Craig Heyward; guard Ken Huff; tackle Tony Mandarich; linebacker Simeon Rice; defensive back Ashley Ambrose; running back Keith Elias; center Ted Petersen; and defensive back Tyrone Poole.
Now, more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers will submit their votes to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which deliberates and selects the Class of 2019 and will be announced Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. The 2019 class will be inducted during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 2019, in New York, and the inductees will be permanently enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Here’s a little on the college career of each player with Colts ties from the 2019 ballot, followed by info about their professional careers:
• Eric Dickerson, running back, Southern Methodist: Named unanimous First Team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1982…Twice named SWC Player of the Year, he holds 14 SMU records including career rushing yards (4,450). Dickerson was acquired by the Colts in a three-team deal in 1987, and in five seasons in Indianapolis, he would run the ball 1,258 times for 5,194 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and 32 touchdowns. Dickerson, a 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, was inducted into the Colts’ Ring of Honor in 2013.