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Two Former Players and a Current Coach Will Appear on College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

What an honor for these three.

NCAA - Purdue vs Notre Dame - October 2, 2004 Photo by Sandra Dukes/Getty Images

The College Football Hall of Fame is a strange institution, but that’s for later in this article. First, we’ve gotta highlight the amazing honor that three Boilermakers earned just today.

In case you are having trouble with that graphic, it’s not Purdue’s best, it says that three Boilermakers are headed to the ballot for the College football hall of fame. Larry Burton, Taylor Stubblefield, and new OC Graham Harrell are all nominated for the Hall. Quite an honor. If you’re a little too young to remember either of these Purdue greats let me refresh your memor.

Larry Burton

Burton played in an entirely different era of football, playing two seasons for the Boilermakers from 1973-1974. In his first season with the team he hauled in 15 receptions for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was Purdue’s leading receiver that year. I told you, it was a different time. The next year he had 38 receptions, 702 yards, and four touchdowns. These numbers were enough for Burton to be named a First Team All-American for his 1974 campaign and allowed him to be named the Outstanding College Football Athlete of America. He also earned All-Big Ten First team honors and was Purdue’s team MVP.

Burton was not just an excellent football player, but he was also an accomplished sprinter. He competed at the 1972 Olympic trials and finished fourth in the 200. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 7th overall pick in the 1975 draft. He played in the NFL for five seasons.

Taylor Stubblefield

Stubblefield is a much more recent Boilermaker as he played from 2001-2004. During his first year on the field he led the team in receptions with 73, a far ry from the 15 that Burton had during his first year with the team. Those 73 receptions were good for 910 yards. Just incredible numbers during your first year. During his sophomore campaign he caught 77 passes for 789 yards. Amazingly, despite 77 catches he had no receiving touchdowns during his sophomore season. Over the final two years he caught 86 and 89 receptions respectively. His senior year saw him break the 1,000 yard receiving mark when he finished with 1,095. He finished his Purdue career with 3,629 yards and 325 receptions which remains a Purdue record. He held the NCAA record for receptions for 7 seasons.

He earned First Team All-American honors for his senior season. Perhaps though he is most remembers for just one play.

Graham Harrell

Harrell of course didn’t play at Purdue, he was a Texas Tech QB, but as he is the current OC of Purdue we can certainly claim him. During his time at Texas Tech he earned All-American honors in 2008. Let’s hope his ability to put up 400 yard games, he has 20 of them, can be transferred over to the Purdue QB room.

Now, you may be wondering if I’m going to get back to why the College Football HOF is such a strange institution. Well, yes, I will. You know what Purdue legend isn’t eligible? Drew Brees.

  • 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.

Drew Brees was never a first team All-American. Crazy I know. Especially when you consider that he won the Maxwell Award which is awarded to the nation’s best player. He also finished fourth in Heisman voting in 1999 and third in the same in 2000. He was also an Academic All-American. Oh well, I guess he will have to make do with the NFL Hall of Fame.