The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the 2021 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. This years ballot includes 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Of the 99 players from the divisional ranks, there are eight HBCU athletes– four of which hail from Mississippi Valley State University and two HBCU coaches nominated.
Mississippi Valley State Nominees
Ashley Ambrose, Mississippi Valley State-Defensive Back-1991 First Team All-American and First Team All-SWAC selection…Named SWAC Defensive Back and Return Specialist of the Year in 1991…Led nation in punt returns during senior campaign.
Vincent Brown, Mississippi Valley State-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-American, leading the NCAA in tackles in 1986 and 1987…Set NCAA All-Divisions record with 570 career tackles…Two-time All-SWAC selection who led MVSU in tackles his last three seasons.
Parnell Dickinson, Mississippi Valley State-Quarterback-1975 First Team All-American and Pittsburgh Courier National Player of the Year…Four-time All-SWAC selection and conference Player of the Year as a senior…Finished career as SWAC’s all-time leader in total offense (7,442 yards).
Bob Gaddis, Mississippi Valley State-Wide Receiver-1974 First Team All-American and Pittsburgh Courier National Receiver of the Year…Named 1970 NAIA Freshman of the Year en route to twice leading the NAIA in yards per catch (1971-72)…Three-time All-SWAC selection led conference in yards per catch all four years.
Other HBCU Athletes Nominated
William Dillon, Virginia Union-Free Safety-Three-time First Team All-America selection (1980-82)…Tallied 16 interceptions in 1983…1983 Black College Player of the Year…Two-time First Team All-Conference selection and Player of the Year (1981-82).
Dennis Thomas, Alcorn State-Center-Two-time Pittsburgh Courier First Team All-American (1972, 1973)…First and only offensive lineman in SWAC history to earn SWAC Offensive MVP honors (1973)…Member of 1970 SWAC Championship Team as a freshman and led teams to a 27-8-1 overall record.
Timmy Newsome Winston-Salem State (NC)-Running Back-1978 First Team All-American who finished his career as the all-time leading rusher (3,843 yards) in school and conference annals…Three-time All-CIAA selection who twice led the conference in rushing and scoring…Led the Rams to consecutive undefeated regular seasons and CIAA titles in 1977 and 1978.
Tyrone Poole, Fort Valley State (GA)-Defensive Back First Team All-America selection in 1994…Two-time Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Defensive Player of the Year (1993-94) who led FVSU to two conference titles…Recorded 44 pass breakups and 17 interceptions, returning four for TDs.
Rudy Hubbard-Florida A&M (1974-85)-Captured back-to-back national championships, 1977 and 1978, including the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA National Title in 1978…Led A&M to back-to-back SIAC championships.
Eddie Hurt-Virginia Lynchburg (1925-28), Morgan State (1930-59)-Led Morgan State to six Black College National Championship and 14 CIAA titles…Posted 11 undefeated seasons, including the 1943 team that did not allow a score from a single opponent…From 1932-39, led Bears to 54-game streak without a loss.