MANHATTAN – A pair of K-State Football Ring of Honor members, Michael Bishop and Darren Sproles, were among 78 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the 2021 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today.
Sproles is on the ballot for the first time, while Bishop is a repeat candidate.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.4 million people have played college football and only 1,027 players have been inducted,” NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT early next year.”
One of the most dynamic players in program history, Bishop played a major role in propelling the Wildcats to their first-ever No. 1 national ranking during the second of his two seasons at K-State (1997-1998). He still holds the K-State season passing efficiency record after a 159.6 rating in 1998 (164-of-295 for 2,844 yards and 23 TDs/4 INTs) in addition to ranking second in season total offense at 3,592 yards.
Bishop went 22-3 as a starter, including a 15-1 mark in Big 12 play, as his 88-percent winning clip is the best mark in school history. He was a two-time All-Big 12 performer, the 1997 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, winner of the 1998 Davey O’Brien Award and runner up for the Heisman Trophy that year.
Sproles, a 2003 First Team All-American and three-time All-Big 12 performer, held 28 school records at the time of graduation, 21 of which still stand 15 years after his playing days. The Olathe, Kansas, product rushed for 4,979 career yards, nearly 2,000 yards more than the player in second place. Sproles, finished fifth in the 2003 Heisman Trophy voting and third in the Associated Press Player of the Year voting that same season, was a three-time All-American, including earning first-team honors in 2003.
Sproles was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and ended up playing 15 years in the league prior to his retirement at the conclusion of last season. He accumulated 19,696 career all-purpose yards to rank fifth in NFL history, while he ranks seventh in career punt-return yards and eighth in kickoff-return yards. He played in three Pro Bowls and was named to seven All-Pro teams, including six first-team honors.
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 FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
The announcement of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT will be made in early 2021, with specific details to be announced in the future.
The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 7, 2021, at the New York Hilton Midtown. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2021 season.