ATHENS—– Former University of Georgia All-Americans Garrison Hearst and Richard Seymour are among 78 players named Monday to the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot by the National Football Foundation.

The announcement of the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2024, with specific details to be announced in the future.

The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 2024, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2024 season.

Hearst, a Lincolnton, GA, native who played for head coach Ray Goff, was a 1992 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s most outstanding running back. He finished third in 1992 Heisman Trophy voting after leading the nation in scoring (126 points). Hearst was also the 1992 SEC Player of the Year and finished his career trailing only Herschel Walker in career rushing yards (3,232) at Georgia.  He was the third pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.  Hearst played 12 years in the NFL with the Cardinals (1993-95), Cincinnati Bengals (1996), San Francisco 49ers (1997-203), and Denver Broncos (2004). He was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2001 after returning from a severe knee injury.

Seymour, a defensive tackle from Gadsden, SC, played for head coach Jim Donnan. He was a2000 First Team All-American, helping the Dawgs to four-straight bowl wins and top 20 final national rankings. He was a two-year team captain and two-time First Team All-SEC selection.  Seymour was the 1999 UGA Defensive MVP and one of only two defensive linemen in school history to lead the team in single-season tackles (74 in 1999). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022.  He was a first round draft choice of the New England Patriots and played 12 years in the NFL-eight with the Patriots and four with the Oakland Raiders.  Seymour was on three Super Bowl champion teams with New England.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.62 million people have played college football and only 1,074 players have been inducted,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:

  • First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
  • A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
  • While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
  • Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2024 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1974 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
  • A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
  • Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a candidate’s collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.