The National Football Foundation has released its 2023 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame and several former HBCU players and coaches have made the list.
Seven of the 96 players in the “divisional” ranks played their college football at HBCUs while three of the 33 coaches roamed the sidelines at black schools.
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.
Below are the players and coaches.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
Gideon Smith-Hampton (1921-40)-Led Pirates to 1922 Black College National Championship… Recorded four CIAA titles and two unbeaten seasons in career…Longest tenured coach in Hampton history, boasting the second-most wins all-time at the school.
Dwight Reed-Lincoln (MO) (1949-71)-Teams won three conference titles…Coached 93 All-Americans in four sports…The football stadium at Lincoln University was named for him.
The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2023, with specific details to be announced in the future.
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2023, 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 2023 season.