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Three Trojans and three Bruins nominated for College Football Hall of Fame

March 4, 2009 | 12:52 am

USC's Sam Cunningham The National Football Foundation released the ballot for its next Hall of Fame Class, with local teams well represented.

USC's Sam Cunningham, Marlin McKeever and John Robinson are listed, as are UCLA's Randy Cross, Ken Norton Jr. and Jonathan Ogden.

UNLV's Randall Cunningham was also nominated, giving Kenny Mayne something to talk about. Other sentimental favorites include ASU linebacker-turned-national-hero Pat Tillman, Florida State cornerback-turned-superstar Deion Sanders, and Nebraska linebacker-turned-analyst Trev Alberts.

Consider what it takes just to make the ballot:

-- 4.6 million-plus people have played college football.

-- 1,900 players are eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot (a first team All American, no longer in the pros, who played between 10 and 50 years ago), plus a small group of coaches with more than 10 years and 100 games of experience (and a winning percentage of 60% or better).

-- 76 people were nominated this year.

-- 846 players and 182 coaches have been inducted in the history of the game.

The newest inductees will be announced April 30, inducted at an awards dinner Dec. 8 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2010.

UCLA's Jonathan Ogden

Read the bios of the local nominees from the NFF release:

  • Randy Cross, UCLA -- Offensive Guard -- Named First Team All-America in 1975 ... Helped lead UCLA to a victory over top-ranked Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl ... First Team All-Conference selection in 1975 ... Starter in 28 of 34 career games including his final 23.
  • Sam Cunningham, Southern California -- Running Back -- Named First Team All-American in 1972 ... Rushed for 1,579 yards and 23 touchdowns during career ... Named 1973 Rose Bowl Player of the Game (four touchdowns) ... Member of the 1972 National Championship team.
  • Marlin McKeever, Southern California -- Tight End -- Named First Team All-American in 1959 ... A three-time All-Conference selection (1958-60) and MVP of the USC/UCLA game in 1960 ... Two-time Associated Press and Sports Illustrated Lineman of the Week.
  • Ken Norton Jr., UCLA -- Linebacker -- 1987 First Team All-American, leading Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins ... Member of the 1985 conference championship team ... Led team in tackles in 1986 (106) and in 1987 (125) and ranks sixth in school history with 339 career tackles.
  • Jonathan Ogden, UCLA -- Offensive Tackle -- Named unanimous First Team All-American and Outland Trophy winner in 1995 ... Led team to 1993 Pac-10 title ... Won 1995 Morris Trophy as conference’s best offensive lineman, allowing only one quarterback sack that season.
  • John Robinson -- Coach -- Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004) -- Led USC to 1978 national championship and five Pac-10 titles ... Ranks first in highest bowl-winning percentage among coaches with at least five bowl appearances (89%) ... 1979 National Coach of the Year, two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, 2000 Mountain West Coach of the Year.

-- Adam Rose

Top photo: USC's Sam Cunningham. Credit: Associated Press

Bottom photo: UCLA's Jonathan Ogden. Credit: Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times