Former Ohio State running back Keith Byars, linebacker James Laurinaitis and offensive tackle Chris Ward are among the 76 Football Bowl Subdivision player nominees for the College Football Hall of Fame's class of 2020, which were announced by the National Football Foundation on Monday.
Each school is allowed a maximum of three nominees. To be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, a player must have received first-team All-American honors during his career, must be at least 10 years removed from his collegiate career and no longer playing professionally and must have played college football within the last 50 years.
Laurinaitis is a first-time nominee for the College Football Hall of Fame. One of only eight Ohio State players who earned first-team All-American honors three times, Laurinaitis led Ohio State in tackles for three consecutive seasons (2006-08), recording 375 total tackles for his career. He went on to play in the NFL for eight seasons before retiring in 2017.
Laurinaitis replaces Jim Otis, whose eligibility for the College Football Hall of Fame expired last year, as one of Ohio State's three nominees.
Byars is in his sixth year on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot. The Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1984, when he rushed for 1,764 yards and 22 touchdowns, Byars finished his Ohio State career with 3,200 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns.
Ward is in his third year on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot. He was a two-time All-American offensive tackle for Ohio State, earning consensus first-team honors in 1976 and unanimous first-team honors in 1977. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in all three of his seasons as the Buckeyes' starting left tackle.
Ohio State currently has 25 former players in the College Football Hall of Fame.
|CHIC HARLEY||HB||1916-17, 19||1951|
|LES HORVATH||QB||1940-42, 44||1969|