IRVING, Texas — The National Football Foundation announced its 2018 ballot for enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame. There are 75 players on the Football Bowl Subdivision section of the ballot. A member with a ballot can vote for 12 of these men. 6 of these players were former Broncos.
There are 98 players on the “Divisions” ballot which is made up of what was formerly known as 1-AA, Division II, III and NAIA schools. A member can vote for of these men. 2 of these players were former Broncos and will be marked with an *, which is generally tied to a New England Patriots Championship.
The eight players are listed below based on Broncos (years of service).
• *13 CB, Billy Thompson, Maryland, State, (1969-1981), Ring of Honor (’87), Pro Bowl, (’77, ’78, ’81), NFL All-Pro 1st Team (’77, ’78), 2nd Team (’69)
• 9 WR, Ed McCaffrey, Stanford, (1995-2003) Two-time World Champion, Pro Bowl (’98), NFL All-Pro 2nd Team (1998), Broncos 50th Anniversary Team.
• 4 QB, Jake Plummer, Arizona State, (2003-2006), starting QB, Pro Bowl 2005.
• 3 QB, Shawn Moore, Virginia, (1991-93), saw action in 3 games.
• 2 DT, Phil Olsen, Utah State, (1975-76), brother of Merlin, started 5 games over 2 seasons, was acquired in a 1975 trade with the Rams and played 27 games in Denver.
• *1 CB, Tyrone Poole, Fort Valley State, (2002), started 4 games had 44 tackles and forced a fumble.
• 1 CB, Terrell Buckley, Florida State, (2000), started 16 games and had a team high 6 interceptions, he finished 10th in total tackles with 33.
• 1 DE, Simeon Rice, Illinois, (2007), started 1 game.
Thompson was drafted in the 3rd round by the Denver Broncos out of Maryland State College. Thompson played his entire 13 year career in Denver. Thompson had a career high of 5 interceptions in a season, but he achieved that 3 different times (’71, ’74 and ’77). He had a career high 3 fumble recoveries and achieved that twice (’69 and ’71) For his career, his 40 interceptions rank him 3rd all time for the Broncos behind Steve Foley (44) and Goose Gonsoulin (43) and has the most interception return yards in franchise history with 784. He also owns the franchise record in fumble recoveries for a defensive player with 21. His 7 defensive touchdowns is also a franchise best, though Aqib Talib is closing in with 5. Thompson started 178 games in Denver which is 3rd all time in team history behind John Elway (231) and Tom Nalen (188). His 179 games played finds him 10th on the all time list while holding the franchise record of consecutive starts with 156.
McCaffrey was drafted in the 3rd round by the New York Giants out of Stanford. He spent 3 years there and a season in San Francisco before signing with the Broncos and starting 105 games in Denver. McCaffrey had 3 1,000 yard seasons (’98, ’99, and ’00). McCaffrey recently stepped down from his job as color analyst on Broncos broadcasts. His 2000 season set franchise records in yards (1,317) and catches (101), he had a career high 10 touchdown catches in 1998. For his Broncos career, McCaffrey ranks 5th in receiving yards with 6,200, 5th in receptions with 462, and is 4th in touchdown receptions with 46.
Plummer was drafted in the 2nd round by the Arizona Cardinals out of Arizona State. He spent 6 years there before signing with the Broncos in 2003, and started 82 games in Denver. In 2004, he set the franchise mark in passing yards with 4,089 (Elway ’93 4,030) and tied Elway’s 1993 mark of 27 touchdown passes which was later eclipsed by Peyton Manning’s 37 in 2012. For his Broncos career Plummer ranks 5th in passing yards with 11,631, he’s tied for 4th in touchdown passes (Brian Griese) with 71, is 4th in QB wins with 39 and is 4th in completions with 944. Plummer owns the franchise record of 499 passing yards in a game (vs. Atlanta 2004). Plummer was traded in 2007 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and retired.
Former FSU standout, CB Terrell Buckley, played 16 games in 2000 for Denver. During that year he had 38 tackles, six interceptions and a pick six against the Rams.
The NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi, Archie Manning said, “Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits.” The former Rebel will see his son, Peyton (Tennessee ’94-97), a former Denver Broncos Quarterback and Super Bowl 50 Champion enshrined in the 2017 class in New York in December.
The announcement of the 2018 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta. If one wants to review the “criteria” for selection they can do so here. Full bios of the players provided by the NFF can be found here .