The National Football Foundation released its 2018 College Football Hall of Fame ballot Thursday, and it includes Michigan alumni John “Jumbo” Elliott, Rick Leach and 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson. There are 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision on the ballot, as well as 98 players and 31 coaches from the divisional ranks.
There are 22 All-Americans and award winners from the Big Ten on this year’s ballot. The 2018 class will be announced Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta as part of the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Jumbo Elliott (1984-87)
Elliott was an All-American for the Wolverines in 1986 and ’87 who started a then-school record (for offensive linemen) 44 straight games. He was the left tackle for the 1985 team that went 10-1-1 and finished No. 2 in the country. Elliott was a two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection and was a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award as senior. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1987.
Elliott went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL, the first eight with the New York Giants and the final six with the New York Jets. He was inducted into the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 2015.
Rick Leach (1975-78)
Leach was a three-time All-Big Ten selection who was conference MVP and finished third in the 1978 Heisman Trophy balloting. He played in all 48 games possible in his four seasons at quarterback, rushing for 2,176 yards and 34 touchdowns, while passing for 4,284 yards and 48 touchdowns. Leach’s 82 touchdowns accounted for were an NCAA record at the time, while he set Big Ten career records for total offense (6,460 yards), total plays (1,034) and touchdown passes.
Leach was an All-American in both football and baseball, where he became a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Honor in 2009.
Charles Woodson (1995-97)
Woodson joined Desmond Howard (1991) and Tom Harmon (1940) as Michigan Heisman Trophy winners when he won the award in 1997. His play helped the Wolverines win the AP national title after the team finished 12-0 and beat Washington State in the Rose Bowl.
Woodson’s primary position was cornerback, but he played on both sides of the ball and on special teams. He accounted for 575 yards and 5 touchdowns on offense, along with 485 yards and 1 touchdown on 51 career kickoff/punt returns. He also intercepted 18 passes and made 162 tackles in three seasons. Woodson turned pro after his junior season and was the No. 4 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by Oakland.
He played 18 seasons in the NFL, the first eight and the final three with the Raiders. In between, Woodson played seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, winning a Super Bowl there following the 2010 season. Woodson was a three-time All-Pro selection and his 65 interceptions rank No. 5 all-time. He returned 11 of them for touchdowns, which is the second-best total in NFL history, one behind Rod Woodson.