The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame released their 2018 ballot today, and four former Rams are on the list.
Nebraska QB Eric Crouch
Crouch won the Heisman in 2001 propelling the Cornhuskers to the national title game in what stands as the last year Nebraska finished in the top 10 of the AP Poll after 40 years of relevance in the top tier of college football.
Suffice to say, his NFL career never came close to matching his collegiate career. A dynamic dual-threat QB, Crouch was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft to make a transition to wide receiver. Injuries prevented him from ever seeing the field in regular season action and he left the Rams in his rookie year. A couple of years back, he admitted he was never fully committed to the position switch. And honestly, it’s hard to blame him.
To have been so successful in college and then to be asked to change positions is something that I doubt few players would be able to handle well.
Nonetheless, Crouch is without a doubt a great candidate to make the college hall.
SMU RB Eric Dickerson
ED ran for nearly 4,500 yards as part of the Pony Express, more career rushing yards than Texas RB Earl Campbell or Auburn RB Bo Jackson. He came in third in the Heisman Trophy vote in 1982 behind Georgia RB Herschel Walker and Stanford QB John Elway. Also, he’s Eric Dickerson.
North Carolina St. WR Torry Holt
The sixth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, “Big Game” was as dynamic in college as he ultimately would be in the NFL. His rookie season was the first year of the Greatest Show on Turf, and likely required him to be as much. His eight consecutive seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards remains a Rams record.
Nothing from his collegiate career made his NFL starring role a surprise. He still holds the ACC single-season receiving yards record with his ridiculous 1,604-yard senior year. Reminder: this is the same ACC that includes Florida St. and Clemson and Miami and Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech and Pitt and holy hamburgers, seriously this record standing is so damn impressive.
Utah St. DL/C Phil Olsen
While Rams fans likely remember his older brother Merlin more immediately, Phil was a phenomenal two-sport talent in football and basketball at Utah St. As the fourth overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft, the Boston Patriots (they changed their name with a stadium move a year later) had high hopes for Olsen. Those hopes were largely dashed when Olsen injured his knee in a rookie all-star game before he even got to the Pats.
A year later, the Patriots traded him to the Rams for their 1972 NFL Draft first-round pick. Olsen would play four seasons for the Rams, re-injuring the same knee before ultimately playing alongside his brother. He spent the next two years backing up DES Jack Youngblood and Fred Dryer. A year later, he joined the Denver Broncos and made the move to center because he was a bad ass.
So shout out to all these former Rams greats. Here’s hoping they make the College Hall of Fame when the 2018 class is announced Jan. 8, 2018.