Big 12 alums on Hall of Fame ballot

The National Football Foundation has unveiled 77 players and five coaches from the FBS who are on this year's ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Big 12 schools have several nominations.

Here are the candidates who played or coached at current Big 12 schools:

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma: Nicknamed “The Boz,” Bosworth was a two-time Butkus Award winner, a two-time first-team All-American and led the Sooners to three consecutive Orange Bowls, which included the 1985 national championship.

Jerry Gray, DB, Texas: Gray was a two-time first-team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1984. He was also a two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year. With Gray leading the way, the Longhorns checked opponents to an average of 9.5 points per game in ’84.

Randy Hughes, DB, Oklahoma: Hughes was a key part on OU’s 1974 national title team, which never allowed more than 14 points in a game. He finished his career fourth on OU’s interceptions list.

Rod Shoate, LB, Oklahoma: Shoate is one of just two Sooners to earn first-team All-America honors three times. He was twice named the Big Eight defensive player of the year, and ranks third in school history with 420 career tackles.

Zach Thomas, LB, Texas Tech: Thomas, a tackling machine in college and in the pros, earned unanimous All-America status in 1995. He was also a two-time consensus Southwest Conference defensive player of the year.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU: Tomlinson remains TCU’s all-time leading rusher and holds 15 school records. He was the 2000 Doak Walker Award winner and a unanimous All-American the same season.

Don Trull, QB, Baylor: Trull was a consensus first-team All-American in 1963, and led the nation that year with 22 touchdown passes.

Jim Carlen, coach at West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74), South Carolina (1975-1981): Carlen had 13 winning seasons in 16 years as coach, and while at Tech was the national coach of the year in 1973. He was also a three-time Southwest Conference coach of the year.

The ballot was mailed to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers, whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s 14-member Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first-team All-American by a major organization; played their last year of college football at least 10 years ago; played within the last 50 years and not currently be playing professionally. 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 years.

This year's Hall of Fame Class will be announced on May 7 in New York City.