Among the 76 players and five coaches listed from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) on the 2020 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame, announced Monday by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame, three former Ohio State players are nominated.
Running back Keith Byars, linebacker James Laurinaitis and offensive tackle Chris Ward represent the Buckeyes looking to make the class, which will be revealed in January 2020 prior to the College Football Playoff national championship game from New Orleans.
The class will officially be inducted Dec. 8, 2020, during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner.
Laurinaitis is a first-time nominee for the College Football Hall of Fame as a three-time First Team All-American and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He won the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and 2007 Butkus Award, leading the team in tackles for his final three seasons while OSU reached two national championship games and won four consecutive conference titles from 2005-08. Laurinaitis totaled 375 tackles in Columbus before an eight-year NFL career from 2009-16.
Byars and Ward return to the ballot for the sixth and third years, respectively, after neither made the 2019 class. Byars finished second in the 1984 Heisman Trophy, highlighting an Ohio State career in which he rushed for 3,200 yards and 46 touchdowns. Ward was a two-time First Team All-American — consensus 1976 and unanimous ’77 — as a three-time First Team All-Big Ten pick who aided the Buckeyes to at least share four conference championships.