Spartans on 2020 College Football Hall of Fame ballot

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Two former Michigan State All-Americans and a former Spartan head coach are on the ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Offensive tackle Flozell Adams, placekicker Morten Andersen and former coach Darryl Rogers are featured in the National Football Foundation’s 2020 ballot.

In addition, former Spartan Gideon Smith, the first African-American to play intercollegiate athletics at Michigan State is on the ballot for the third time.

Offensive tackle Flozell Adams is one of three Spartans to be named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Adams earned first-team All-America honors and received the MSU’s President’s Award in 1997. He was the 38th overall draft pick in the 1998 NFL Draft as the Dallas Cowboys second round pick. He was a five-time Pro Bowler who played 12 seasons with Dallas and one with Pittsburgh.

Placekicker Morten Andersen closed out his Michigan State Career as the all-time leader in field goals with 45, extra points with 126, and scoring with 261. Andersen set a Big Ten-record 63-yarder at Ohio State in 1981 and converted 62-straight extra-point attempts during one stretch. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL Draft. Andersen was a seven-time Pro Bowl Selection with a 25-year career in the NFL. When he retired in 2008 he was the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points. Morten Andersen is enshrined in Canton as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

Former Spartan head coach Darryl Rogers led the Spartans to the 1978 Big Ten championship. Rogers received the Big Ten Coach of the Year that same year. The 1978 team is one of the top offenses in school history, setting the MSU single-season record with 411 points or an average of 37.4 points per game. In his career, he coached three first-team All-Americans.

Gideon Smith was a three-year letterwinner from 1913 to 1915 and coached at Hampton University from 1921 to 1940. In 1922 he led the Pirates to the Black College National Championship. He recorded four CIAA titles and two unbeaten seasons in his career. Smith is not only the longest tenured coach in Hampton history, but also has the second-most wins all-time at the school.

The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers. The 2020 class will be announced in January 2020.

Eligibility for players includes being named first-team All-American, playing the last year at least 10 years before being on the ballot, playing within the last 50 years and not currently playing professional football. Of the over 5 million individuals who have played college football since 1869, only 1,010 players have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2019, running back Lorenzo White will be the 10th Spartan inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Coaches eligibility includes coaching a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach and winning at least 60 percent of their games. Over the past 150 years only 219 coaches have achieved Hall of Fame distinction. MSU has four former coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

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