Culpepper on college Hall of Fame ballot

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Former Florida standout Brad Culpepper on the set of the show SEC Nation before the Florida-Georgia game outside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonvill on Nov. 2, 2019. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida defensive tackle Brad Culpepper, Georgia cornerback Champ Bailey, Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney and Kansas State running back Darren Sproles will appear on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot. This marks Culpepper’s second consecutive year on the ballot.

The National Football Foundation on Tuesday announced the 78 players and seven coaches from major college football who are up for selection to the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame. There also are 99 players and 33 coaches from outside the highest level of college football eligible for induction.

The College Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be announced early next year.

Culpepper was a 1991 consensus First Team All-American and recipient of the NFF Campbell Trophy as the nation’s top scholar-athlete. He was a two-time All-SEC selection who led Gators to first-ever SEC title in 1991. He ranks sixth all-time at Florida with 47.5 career TFL, a school record among defensive lineman.

Bailey was the Nagurski Award winner as the nation’s best defensive player in 1998, while also playing receiver and returning kicks for the Bulldogs.

Freeney holds the NCAA record for career sacks per game at 1.61 and was co-Big East defensive player of the year in 2001 for Syracuse.

Sproles finished fifth in Heisman voting in 2003 for the Wildcats.

Among the other notable players on the ballot for the first time are kickers Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State and Luis Zendejas of Arizona State and quarterback Ken Dorsey from Miami. Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is also up for induction for the first time.

Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer from Southern California and Rashaan Salaam from Colorado are among those returning to the ballot.

The ballot was sent to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members. Votes will be tabulated and then the NFF honors court will select the class of 2021 from the top vote-getters.