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The College Football Hall of Fame announced its ballot for the Class of 2023, with former star quarterbacks Tim Tebow, Ryan Leaf and Alex Smith highlighting the first-time candidates for potential induction.
Returning candidates to the ballot included former USC running back Reggie Bush, former Miami linebacker Ray Lewis, former California tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Marshawn Lynch, former Florida State running back Warrick Dunn and former Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney and wideout Marvin Harrison, among others.
Amongst the first-time candidates, Tebow seems like a safe bet for induction.
The former Florida quarterback was a two-time champion, the Heisman Trophy winner in 2007—the first sophomore in history to win the award—and a three-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year, accumulating 9,285 passing yards, 88 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during his career while adding 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns on the ground.
He set 28 school records during his time with the Gators.
Tebow is one of two Heisman Trophy winners on the ballot, joining Bush (who vacated the award in 2010 because of recruiting violations).
Bush was a two-time All-American selection and two-time national champion for USC, rushing for 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns in his three-year college career while adding 95 catches for 1,301 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His athleticism and big-play ability made him one of the most exciting players in college football history.
Lewis, who would go on to have a Hall of Fame NFL career, was an All-American in 1995 and a two-time All-Big East selection. He is sixth in Miami history with 388 tackles.
Other first-time candidates of note include former Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, former Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter and former Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams.
Coaches of note on the ballot include Larry Coker, who led Miami to a national championship and three Big East titles, and Mark Richt, who led Georgia to two SEC titles.