9 former Lions among college Hall-of-Fame candidates
All told there are 76 Division I-A nominees for which voters are supposed to pick 11. Some of the selections seem obvious. Brian Bosworth was a two-time consensus All-American linebacker at Oklahoma. Deion Sanders, another two-time All-American, is the best cornerback of all time. Tim Brown won the 1987 Heisman and Russell Maryland (1990) and Jonathan Ogden (1995) were Outland winners.
I'm not going to list all 76 candidates (plus 36 I-AA candidates and 61 in other divisions; check collegefootball.org if you're interested), but I'm curious which ex-Lions you think deserve consideration. The list:
LB Chris Spielman, Ohio State: 1987 Lombardi winner and two-time first-team All-American; one of the all-time great Lions.
WR Desmond Howard, Michigan: 1991 Heisman winner; played four seasons in Detroit from 1999-2002.
RB D.J. Dozier, Penn State: Led Nittany Lions in rushing four times, including during national-title year of 1986; played six games with the Lions in '91.
DL Luther Elliss, Utah: 1994 WAC Defensive Player of the Year; drafted 20th overall by the Lions.
RB Dick Jauron, Yale: School's all-time rushing leader; was drafted as a defensive back by the Lions and served as interim coach in 2005;
FB Tom Nowatzke, Indiana: 1963 Big Ten rushing leader; Scored 16 touchdowns over five seasons with the Lions in the '60s.
DE Pat Swilling, Georgia Tech: Set the NCAA record with seven sacks in one game; part of perhaps the worst trade in Lions history.
Two ex-Lions on the Division II ballot are Don Greco, who played guard at Western Illinois and for the Lions from 1982-85, and Northern Michigan defensive back Jerry Woods, who played briefly with the Lions two decades ago.
A couple other names of note: Darryl Rogers, 18-40 in four seasons as Lions coach, is a candidate to be inducted into the coach's win; Kirk Gibson and Percy Snow are on the ballot from MSU; as is former Cal linebacker Ron Rivera, who interviewed for the Lions' job in January.