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K-State’s Sproles debuts on college Hall of Fame ballot

The Associated Press
Former Kansas State and Olathe North star Darren Sproles is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

Kansas State running back Darren Sproles, Georgia cornerback Champ Bailey and Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney will appear on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The National Football Foundation on Tuesday announced the 78 players and seven coaches from major college football who are up for selection to the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame. There also are 99 players and 33 coaches from outside the highest level of college football eligible for induction.

The College Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be announced early next year.

Sproles, the Olathe North graduate who won the Simone Award as the top high school player in the Kansas City area, finished fifth in Heisman voting in 2003 for the Wildcats, rushing for 1,986 yards to go along with 25 receptions for another 287 yards and 18 total touchdowns.

Bailey was the Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player in 1998, while also playing receiver and returning kicks for the Bulldogs.

Freeney holds the NCAA record for career sacks per game at 1.61 and was co-Big East defensive player of the year in 2001 for Syracuse.

Among the other notable players on the ballot for the first time are kickers Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State and Luis Zendejas of Arizona State and quarterback Ken Dorsey from Miami. Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is also up for induction for the first time.

Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer from Southern California and Rashaan Salaam from Colorado are among those returning to the ballot.

The ballot was sent to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members. Votes will be tabulated and then the NFF honors court will select the class of 2021 from the top vote-getters.