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Former Packers make college football’s Hall of Fame ballot as finalists

Julius Peppers headlines the crop of former Green Bay players.

Julius Peppers #49

Earlier this month, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced the 78 football bowl subdivision (FBS) finalists who will have a chance to join college football’s Hall of Fame in the 2024 class. According to the NFF, each voter will be able to select 12 of the 78 FBS players on their ballot — which is due on Friday, June 30th.

Some notable former Green Bay Packers who are listed as finalists for the FBS portion of the ballot include former outside linebacker Julius Peppers and former backup quarterback Graham Harrell. Below are the foundation’s blurbs on the two.

Julius Peppers, North Carolina-Defensive End-2001 unanimous First Team All-American and winner of the 2001 Bednarik and Lombardi awards…2001 Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year who finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting…Two-time First Team All-ACC selection, leading the conference in TFL (24) and sacks (15) in 2000.

Graham Harrell, Texas Tech-Quarterback-2008 First Team All-American and AT&T All-America Player of the Year who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting…2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete holds seven NCAA records, including career 400-yard games (20)…Three-time All-Big 12 performer ranks second in league history with 15,793 career passing yards.

Harrell, who recently took over as Purdue’s offensive coordinator, is 1 of 11 NFF scholar-athletes to be named as a finalist. It sounds like he was as successful in the classroom at Texas Tech as he was on the field for the Red Raiders.

Beyond the FBS players, there is also a non-FBS player (small school) pathway to make the College Football Hall of Fame and also a ballot for head coaches. The NFF designates small school players as “divisional players,” of which there are 101 finalists. Unlike the FBS ballot, voters can only select four divisional players to advance to the hall. The divisional crop is headlined by the likes of Randy Moss, who played at Marshall when they were still a 1-AA program. One former small school Packer worth highlighting, though, is Jahri Evans — who played at Division II’s Bloomsburg before a long career as a New Orleans Saint and a one-year stint as Green Bay’s starting right guard in 2017.

For all of you Wisconsin Badgers fans out there, keep an eye on running back Montee Ball, who was a two-time Consensus All-American for the Badgers and is on the ballot.