by: Matt Sharp, KTLO
Three former football players with Arkansas ties, including one from the area, are among the nominees for the College Football Hall of Fame. Harrison High School alumnus and former Arkansas Razorback offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth will be on the ballot for the Class of 2021.
Burlsworth joined Arkansas as a walk-on in 1994 after being an All-State selection for the Goblins, but by the time he left, he was named to the All-American and All-SEC teams. He helped the Hogs to SEC Western Division championships and postseason berths in 1995 and 1998. Burlsworth was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts on April 17, 1999, but 11 days later, he was killed in a car accident near Alpena.
Burlsworth is joined on the ballot by fellow former Razorback Dan Hampton. The former defensive tackle was an All-American and a two-time All-Southwest Conference selection. The Houston Post named Hampton the conference’s outstanding player of the year in 1978 after recording 18 tackles for loss in his senior season. He helped Arkansas beat No. 19 Georgia in the 1976 Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl.
Former Arkansas State running back Calvin Harrell will also be on the ballot. Harrell is a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southland Conference selection. He helped the Indians (now Red Wolves) to three straight conference titles from 1968 to 1970 and two wins in the Pecan Bowl. Harrell holds the school record for 100-yard rushing games at 18.
The list of coaches on the ballot includes former Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel. Pinkel is the winningest coach in school history at Mizzou and Toledo. He combined for nine conference division titles between both schools and finished with a 7-4 record in postseason bowl games. During the 2007 season at Missouri, Pinkel led the Tigers to their first No. 1 national ranking since 1960 and earned FieldTurf National Coach of the Year and Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors.
The full list of nominees can be found by clicking here. Voting will continue through July 7.