IRVING, Texas – Former Arkansas greats Dan Hampton and Cliff Powell were among the 81 former players and coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision included on the 2018 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
Hampton was a four-year letterman at defensive tackle from 1975-78. Arkansas sported a 35-10-2 record during his career, including a mark of 22-8-1 in Southwest Conference (SWC) play. Hampton totaled 239 tackles, including 126 solo stops, across his four seasons with 32 coming behind the line of scrimmage, while recovering six fumbles. He was a first-team All-American by the AFCA in 1978 and helped Arkansas to finish third nationally after winning the 1978 Orange Bowl. As a senior, he logged 98 tackles, including 18 for a loss. He was named the SWC Defensive Player of the Year, earned first-team All-SWC honors and also earned the outstanding SWC Player of the Year award from the Houston Post in 1978. Hampton was named second-team All-SWC in his junior season in 1977. As a freshman, he helped the Razorbacks to a share of the SWC title and a victory over Georgia in the 1976 Cotton Bowl.
Hampton was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the fourth pick of the first round in the 1979 NFL Draft. He played 12 seasons for Chicago, becoming one of only two Bears’ players to play in three decades for the team. He started 152 of his 157 career games with the Bears and finished third on the team’s all-time career sacks list with 82. Despite overcoming 10 knee surgeries during his career, Hampton earned All-Pro honors five times and four trips to the Pro Bowl, twice as a defensive tackle and twice as a defensive end. Four other times, he was an alternate for the Pro Bowl. He also earned All-Madden team honors five times.
A three-year letterman at linebacker from 1967-69, Powell led the Razorbacks to consecutive Sugar Bowls in 1969 and 1970. The two-time All-SWC first team selection held the school’s all-time record for career tackles (367) from 1969 through the end of the 2002 season. Powell helped Arkansas win 10 games and a share of the SWC title in 1968. That season, he led the team with 154 tackles, which currently ranks fourth in single-season school history. Powell was elected team captain as a senior and posted 134 stops. He turned in 24 tackles against No. 1 Texas in the 1969 Shootout, a mark that still ranks third on the Razorbacks’ single-game tackle list. His 367 career tackles are currently sixth-most in school history.
Powell was All-SWC in 1968 and 1969 and earned All-America honors in 1969. He also earned the Houston Post’s Most Outstanding Player of the SWC award in 1969. He is a member of the Razorbacks’ All-Century Team and the 1960s Razorback All-Decade squad. Powell was inducted into the University Of Arkansas Sports Hall Of Honor in 2001, before being selected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
The University of Arkansas has 19 former Razorback players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame. Previous inductees from the University of Arkansas include coach Frank Broyles, Lance Alworth, Loyd Phillips, Ronnie Caveness, Jimmy Johnson, Clyde Scott, Billy Ray Smith Jr., Wayne Harris, coach Lou Holtz and coach Danny Ford.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first-team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 full seasons prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three full seasons. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
The ballot was emailed Thursday 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 Courts, which will deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
The announcement of the 2018 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Some of the inductees will be on site during the announcement to represent the class and share their thoughts on being elected. The Jan. 8 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. A few inductees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss before the championship game.
Of the 5.19 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 987 players, including the 2017 class, have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two ten-thousandths (.0002) of one percent of those who have played the game during the past 149 years. From the coaching ranks, 214 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.