Rashaan Salaam leads CU Buffs trio on 2021 College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Eric Bieniemy, Chris Hudson also on ballot

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam topped the 2,000-yard mark by erupting for a 67-yard touchdown run against Iowa State at Folsom Field on Nov. 19, 1994.

Maybe this time the family of the late Rashaan Salaam finally will get the call.

The National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame released the ballot for the 2021 Hall of Fame induction class, and the Colorado Buffaloes landed three former stars on the list.

That trio is led by Salaam, the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner who remains the only pre-2000 Heisman winner who has not yet been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Also on the ballot is former CU running back Eric Bieniemy and former cornerback Chris Hudson, winner of the 1994 Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in the nation.

Seventy-eight players and seven coaches from the FBS level are on the ballot, with another 99 players and 33 coaches earning spots from the lower divisions. The induction class will be announced early in 2021, with the official induction ceremony slated for Dec. 7, 2021 in New York.

Salaam rushed for a CU record 2,055 yards in 1994, at the time becoming just the fourth player to top the 2,000-yard mark in college football history. Salaam posted nine consecutive 100-yard games that season, including four games with at least 200 yards. Salaam’s 24 touchdowns in 1994 remains a CU single-season record, and he is fourth on the Buffs’ all-time rushing list with 3,057 yards.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Playing from 1987-90, Eric Bieniemy is Colorado’s all-time leader in rushing yards (3,940) and rushing touchdowns (41).

Bieniemy, a key figure from the Buffs’ 1990 national championship squad, is the Buffs’ all-time leading rusher with 3,940 yards. Bieniemy’s 42 career touchdowns also remains a CU record, and no non-kicker has compiled more points in a Buffs uniform than Bieniemy (254). The offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Bieniemy was a first team All-American in 1990 and also finished third that season in the Heisman voting.

Hudson was a first team All-American in 1994 and was a three-time first team All-Big Eight Conference honoree. Hudson’s 15 career interceptions ranks second all-time at CU, and he recorded at least three interceptions in each of his four seasons at CU, returning two of them for touchdowns.

Four former Denver Broncos players also landed on the ballot, including Champ Bailey (Georgia), Al Wilson (Tennessee), Jason Elam (Hawaii), and new Northern Colorado head football coach Ed McCaffrey (Stanford).