Eric Berry

Eric Berry

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced eligible players for the 2023 Hall of Fame class, and several Middle Tennessee State and University of Tennessee alums are among those eligible.

Twelve-thousand NFF members will cast their votes, which will be sent to the NFF Honors Court for deliberation and final selection.

Criteria for the HOF class includes:

  • A first team All-America selection
  • 10 full seasons removed from final year played
  • A good-standing member of their community
  • Must have played final season in last 50 years
  • Pro players and coaches are not eligible until retirement
  • Coaches must be three full seasons into retirement, or can become eligible immediately after retirement if 70 years or older, or become eligible if active and over 75 years of age
  • Coaches must have tenure of 10 years minimum, 100 games coached and a .600 winning percentage 
  • Nominations only from current athletic directors, head coaches, or sports information directors

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said in a release. 

“The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

Below are eligible players and coaches from MTSU and Tennessee:

Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee

Two-time unanimous First Team All-American (2008-09) and winner of the 2009 Thorpe Award…2008 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-SEC selection…SEC’s all-time leader in career INT return yards (494) and single-season INT return yards (265 in 2008).

Willie Gault, WR, Tennessee

1982 First Team All-American…Led Vols to three bowl berths…Set six conference and 12 school punt / kickoff return records…Tied NCAA record for most touchdowns by kick return in a single season (3) in 1980.

Larry Seivers, WR, Tennessee

Two-time consensus First Team All-American in 1975 and 1976…Two-time First Team All-SEC selection…Currently ranks sixth in Tennessee history in career reception yardage (1,924) and seventh in career receptions (117).

Joe Campbell, RB, MTSU

Two-time First Team All-America selection (1990-91)…A three-time First Team All-Conference pick, he was named OVC Player of the Year in 1990…Led the team in rushing all four years.

Don Griffin, S, MTSU

1985 First Team All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year…Three-time First Team All-Conference selection…Recorded 210 tackles, 13 career interceptions, and held school record for interceptions in a game (3).

Steve McAdoo, OL, MTSU

Two-time First Team All-America selection (1991-92)…Earned Third Team All-America honors by the Associated Press in 1990…Three-time First Team All-Conference pick.

Charles Murphy, coach, MTSU

Captured seven Volunteer State Athletic Conference Championships…Won seven Ohio Valley Conference Championships…Named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1965.

*Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma

2000 consensus First Team All-American and Walter Camp Player of the Year…2000 Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the Sooners to a national title at the 2001 Orange Bowl…2000 Big 12 Player of the Year who left OU with virtually every school passing record despite only playing two seasons.

*Heupel played for Oklahoma but is currently Tennessee’s head football coach