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On the ballot: Trio of Trojans nominated for spot in the College Football Hall of Fame

There are a few familiar names on the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot this summer. Three former Troy Trojans hope to hear their name as the newest members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Former Trojan head coach Larry Blakeney highlights the list of Trojan nominees. He is joined on the ballot by Freddie Thomas the late Al Lucas.

The trio of Trojans will be joined by 74 other former players and four other coaches on this year’s ballot.

The 2020 class will be announced in January 2020, just prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship. The induction will be held in December 2020.

To be eligible for the hall of fame as a coach, coaches must have been retired from coaching for three years and must have coached a minimum of 10 years while coaching at least 100 games with a winning percentage of .600.

Blakeney, who returns for his second year on the ballot, achieved that and then some during his tenure with the Trojans. The legendary head coach led the Trojans for 24 years from 1991-2014. Blakeney led the Trojans to 178 wins over his 24-year career.

Blakeney brought Troy from NCAA Division II all the way up to the NCAA’s highest level during his stint as head coach.

Blakeney is the all-time winningest coach in Sun-Belt Conference history. During his time with the Trojans, Blakeney won four coach of the year awards, two in the Sun Belt and two in the Southland Conference. In Troy’s 16 years as a member of a conference, Blakeney lead his team to eight conference championships. He led his team to five bowl appearances and seven appearances in FCS Playoffs in eight seasons. He coached 14 All-Americans during his career with the Trojans.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first team All-American by a major or national selector. They must have played their last year of football at least 10 years prior to being on the ballot, played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football.

During his tenure in the late 90s with the Trojans, Lucas was an All-American following his senior year in 1999. He finished that season with 129 tackles and 20 tackles for loss. He was named the 1999 Buck Buchanan Award winner.

Lucas not only made plays on defense but on offense as well. The All-American rushed for nine touchdowns on 26 carries. Lucas played in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and played in 20 games. Lucas tragically passed away from an injury suffered on April 10, 2005, during an AFL game.

Thomas was also an All-American. He was named as a Kodak All-American following his junior season when he recorded 85 tackles with five interceptions and eight pass break ups.

Thomas ranks 12th all-time in Troy history with 11 interceptions. He ranks 18th in total tackles and 11 in assisted tackles.