Retired former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been nominated for the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame class. Lewis was nominated for induction in 2015 but was not selected.
While at the University of Miami, Lewis was runner up for the Dick Butkus Award - given to the country’s top linebacker. He was a two-time all Big East selection at Miami, before the Ravens made one of the best choices in NFL draft history by taking him with the 26th pick in 1996.
As the defensive leader of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Ravens, Lewis is a lock to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame after he becomes eligible for induction. Lewis made 13 Pro Bowls during his 17 seasons with the Ravens, and he was twice the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
However, Lewis became a more dominant player in the NFL than he was in college. Over 200 names are on the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, and Lewis is not certain to be chosen out of that group.
Notables on this year’s college Hall of Fame ballot include three players who are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – linebacker Derrick Brooks, running back Eric Dickerson, and defensive back Rod Woodson. Other interesting nominees include former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham (UNLV) former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who was a wide receiver at Michigan St., linebacker Simeon Rice (Illinois), and linebacker Brian Urlacher (New Mexico).
Two NFL coaches are also on the ballot – Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who was a star linebacker at Cal, and Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who was a star linebacker at UCLA.