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Three former CU Buffs on College Football HOF ballot

Rashaan Salaam, Joe Garten and Chris Hudson on list of 78 players

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Former Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam was the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner and a unanimous first-team All-American that season, when he rushed for 2,055 yards.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam once again leads a group of Colorado Buffaloes on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday, the National Football Foundation released the ballot for the 2022 Hall of Fame class, and it includes three former Buffs: Salaam, offensive lineman Joe Garten and defensive back Chris Hudson.

This year’s ballot includes 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, as well as 99 players and 33 coaches from lower divisions. The 2022 Hall of Fame class will be announced early next year.

A running back at CU from 1992-94, Salaam is the only Heisman Trophy winner in Buffs’ history, taking home the award as a junior in 1994. That season, he rushed for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns and also won the Doak Walker Award (nation’s top running back) and was a unanimous choice for first-team All-American.

The only pre-2000 Heisman winner not already in the College Football Hall of Fame, Salaam is on the ballot for the fourth consecutive year and for the eighth time since he was first nominated for Hall of Fame consideration in 2014.

Hudson is on the ballot for the second consecutive year. A safety and cornerback during his career at CU (1991-94), he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the country’s top defensive back in 1994. He was also a consensus first-team All-American that year.

One of only six Buffs to earn first-team all-conference honors three times, Hudson had 15 career interceptions and teamed with Salaam to help the Buffs go 11-1 in 1994.

Garten is on the ballot for the first time in 10 years. An offensive guard for CU from 1987-90, he was a two-time first-team All-American, including as a unanimous choice in 1990. In 1990, he was runner-up for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the best interior lineman in the country.

Former Denver Broncos Champ Bailey (Georgia, 1996-98), Garrison Hearst (Georgia, 1990-92), Dan Neil (Texas, 1993-96), Simeon Rice (Illinois, 1992-95) and Tyrone Poole (Fort Valley State, 1991-94) are also on the ballot, along with current Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar (Montana State, 1971-73).

On Dec. 7, the NFF will induct the 2020 and 2021 classes into the Hall of Fame. It is a group that includes former CU star receiver Michael Westbrook.

A member of the 2020 class, Westbrook played at CU from 1991-94 and twice earned first-team All-American honors. He caught 167 passes for 2,548 yards and 19 touchdowns during his CU career.

Westbrook will become the eighth former CU player enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The others include Byron White (class of 1952), Joe Romig (1984), Dick Anderson (1993), Bobby Anderson (2006), Alfred Williams (2010), John Wooten (2012) and Herb Orvis (2016).

Coach Bill McCartney was also inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 class.