IOWA CITY, Iowa - The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced this week that former Iowa Football student-athletes Dallas Clark and Robert Gallery would be appearing again on the ballot for entry into the Hall. Sixteen former Hawkeye players and coaches already are honored at the facility in Atlanta.
This week's news got me thinking again about others deserving of consideration. Current coach Kirk Ferentz might on the ballot someday, but rules for entry include certain thresholds and timelines, including being out of the game for a period of time. Players must have earned first-team All-American honors and coaches won 60 percent of their games.
For this exercise, I'll restrict myself to men already eligible to be on the ballot. Maybe I'll write this piece annually to include new potential Iowa nominees as they become available, but I'm not making any promises. My memory stinks.
-Ozzie Simmons, HB, 1934-36 - This one seems like a no-brainer to me, but so will most of the guys listed. The Texas native dubbed the "Ebony Eel" stands at the center of the famous Floyd of Rosedale Trophy history. He faced intense racism on the field.
Simmons twice earned All-American honors, garnering first-team laurels as a senior in '35. He was was inducted into the Bob Douglas Black Sports Hall of Fame in New York in '84.
-Reggie Roby, P, '79-82 - The Waterloo (IA) East High grad is considered one of the best ever at his position. He's also named as a key component to Iowa turning around its program when Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry arrived in '79.
Roby twice was named first-team All-American, including consensus designation as a junior in '81. Ray Guy and Randall Cunningham (yeah, the one that also played quarterback at UNLV and in NFL) have been the only punters enshrined.
-Ronnie Harmon, RB/WR, '82-85 - Some Hawkeye fans still hold a grudge against Harmon following his Rose Bowl fumbles, but that's a shame and unwarranted. He's one of the best players ever to wear the Black and Gold, and conspiracy theories shouldn't change that.
Harmon was a two-time All-American, landing on the first-team as a senior in '85, one of the program's most memorable seasons. He rushed for 1,111 yards, caught 49 passes for 597 yards and totaled 10 touchdowns that year.
-Marv Cook, TE, '85-88 - One of the first and best in a long line of talented Iowa players at position, Cook earned consensus first-team All-American honors in '88 as Clark did in '02. That Mackey Award began being handed out in '00 after Cook's college career ended or he likely would have joined Clark in receiving the honor.
-Tim Dwight, WR/KR/PR, '94-97 - Like Cook and others, Iowa City's own has been on the ballot before and failed to garner enough votes despite being a two-time first-team All-American, including of the consensus variety as a senior in '97.
Dwight was one of the most electric players during his time in college. He deserves to be in.
-Jared DeVries, DL, '95-98 - Iowa's all-time sack leader was a two-time All-American, including earning the consensus designation as a senior in '98. The Hawkeyes struggled to a 3-8 record in Fry's final season, but DeVries' performance needed to be recognized.
College Football began tracking tackles for loss as an official statistic in '05, and Buffalo's Kahlil Mack holds the career mark with 75. DeVries produced 79 at Iowa.
It also began recognizing sacks as an official stat in '05. Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson was listed as the leader with 45. DeVries totaled 43 in college.
Brad Banks, QB, '01-02 - In the history of the program, five quarterbacks have been named first-team All-Americans. Three of them - Aubrey Devine, Randy Duncan and Chuck Long - have been enshrined. Kenny Ploen and Banks have not.
Banks was the AP National Player of the Year as a senior on the Big Ten Champions in '02. He was second in the Heisman Trophy voting, which was one of the award's closest votes, joining Long as the only Hawkeye signal callers to finish in the Top 2.
Eric Steinbach, OL, '99-'02 - On arguably Iowa's all-time best offensive line of '02, Steinbach was the lone consensus first-team All-American on the unit that season. The Hawkeyes mauled opponents up front, and Steinbach set the tone for that from his guard spot, helping Gallery in forming a dominate left side.
-Nate Kaeding, K, '00-03 - The Iowa City (IA) West High graduate twice was named a first-team all-American, nailing down consensus honors in '03. A year earlier, he captured the Groza Award.
Georgia's Kevin Butler is the lone place kicker in the Hall.
-Shonn Greene, RB, '05-06, '08 - Like Banks, Greene is an interesting case study on how impactful one super season can be in voting. The '08 Doak Walker Award winner carried (literally) Iowa's offense. He rushed for the most yards (1,850) and touchdowns (20) during a season in program history. He also earned consensus first-team All-American honors.
Other names are deserving of being nominated, but I decided to limit this list to a smaller selection of guys. Alums like Adrian Clayborn, Brandon Scherff, Desmond King and Tristan Wirfs could see themselves on the ballot when eligible down the road.
The Hall of Fame points out that .02 percent of college players and coaches can claim induction. In other words, it ain't easy.