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Michael Oher Makes 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

 Legendary Ole Miss offensive lineman Michael Oher is among 78 former players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision included on the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot released by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame on Monday.

Oher, who was the subject of national best-selling book and major motion picture “The Blind Side,” was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC honoree while starting 47 consecutive games at Ole Miss from 2005-08. Oher is one of just 13 consensus All-Americans in Ole Miss football history with his consensus first-team nod in 2008 for his senior campaign. Of his three All-SEC awards, he was named to the first-team twice in 2007 and 2008, and his other All-America distinction came on the fourth-team as a junior in 2007.

In 2008, Oher was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy for best lineman in the nation, as well as one of three finalists for the Conerly Trophy and one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Oher also won the 2008 Jacobs Blocking Trophy from league coaches for best blocker in the SEC, as well as the 2008 Shug Jordan Award as the Southeast Offensive Lineman of the Year from The Touchdown Club of Atlanta.

As a blocker, Oher helped lead the way for consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons for running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis in 2006 and 2007. Oher still ranks fourth all-time in career starts (47), and in 2019 he was named to the Next Great 25 Team that included players from 1993-2018 to commemorate 125 years of Ole Miss Football.

Oher had a superb professional career, which began as the 23rd overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens – making Oher still one of just 23 Rebels to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Oher made an immediate impact in the NFL, being named to the 2009 NFL All-Rookie Team and finishing second in NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year voting behind Percy Harvin.

Overall, Oher spent eight seasons in the NFL, playing and starting in all 110 games of his career. That included 13 career playoff games started and two Super Bowl appearances – a win as the starting right tackle for the 2012 Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, and as the starting left tackle for the 2015 Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Also making the ballot for 2024 is former head coach Tommy Tuberville, who coached at Ole Miss from 1995-98. While with the Rebels, Tuberville was 25-20 overall and was named the 1997 SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.

Ole Miss has 12 representatives in the College Football Hall of Fame, including its most recent inductee, Patrick Willis, in 2019.

Ole Miss in the College Football Hall of Fame

  • Bruiser Kinard (1951)
  • Charlie Conerly (1965)
  • Barney Poole (1974)
  • John Vaught (1979)
  • Doug Kenna* (1984)
  • Thad “Pie” Vann** (1987)
  • Archie Manning (1989)
  • Parker Hall (1991)
  • Jake Gibbs (1995)
  • Charlie Flowers (1997)
  • Wesley Walls (2014)
  • Patrick Willis (2019)

* Kenna was inducted as an Army player; was on the 1941 Ole Miss freshman team with fellow hall of famers Conerly and Poole
** Vann was inducted as a Southern Miss coach; played at Ole Miss from 1926-28 and was captain of the ’28 squad

The ballot was emailed to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will deliberate and select the class. The Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media. 

“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the College Football Hall of Fame inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”

The announcement of the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2024, with specific details to be announced in the future.

The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 2024, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2024 season.

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:

  • First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
  • A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
  • While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
  • Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2024 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1974 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
  • A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
  • Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a candidate’s collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.

*Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees. Veterans Committee candidates must still meet First Team All-America requirement.

Once nominated for consideration, all FBS player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame but received significant votes in the final selection, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago. The Honors Court annually reviews the Hall of Fame criteria to ensure a fair and streamlined process.

Of the 5.62 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 1,074 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 153 seasons. From the coaching ranks, 230 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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