ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – Four former Knights are back on the College Football Hall of Fame Ballot for 2019, released by the National Football Foundation (NFF). Bernard Ford, Ed O’Brien, Charlie Pierce and David Rhodes are up for the prestigious honor this year.
The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class. The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif.
Ford was a wide receiver for the Knights from 1985-87 and was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. A First Team All-American and Harlon Hill Trophy Finalist in 1987, Ford holds the program record for average yards per catch in a season (21.8, 1986) and ranks in UCF’s Top 10 in nine other receiving categories.
Ford and Rhodes are two of only three Knights to catch four touchdowns in a single game. Rhodes, a two-time All-American, was a wide receiver at UCF from 1991-94. He is the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,618 in his career. Rhodes also holds records of 29 career touchdown receptions and three 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
O’Brien, a kicker for UCF from 1984-87, was inducted into the Knights Hall of Fame in 2008. Also an All-American in 1987, O’Brien is second all-time at UCF with 50 made field goals in his career. He made three field goals of 50 yards or more, including the program record boot, a 55-yarder in 1985.
Pierce was also a kicker for the Knights, but doubled as punter during his time at UCF. An All-American in 1994, Pierce recorded 173 punts from 1993-96 and ranks in the Top 10 in the Knights record book over 20 times. Pierce holds the UCF record with 159 career extra points made.
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:
First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2019 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1969 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.