Randy Moss and Alex Smith to Enter the College Football Hall of Fame
IRVING, Texas (Jan. 7, 2024) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that Randy Moss, the star wide receiver at Marshall from 1996-97, and Alex Smith, the star quarterback at Utah from 2002-04, have been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as members of the 2024 class.Randy Moss and Alex Smith Curtain Raiser HOF Announcement
The NFF made the announcement during Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by Snickers on ESPN to generate excitement and interest in tomorrow’s Jan. 8 announcement of the entire class, which will be unveiled during Championship Drive Presented by Allstate on ESPN between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. ET. Both Moss and Smith work as analysts on Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by Snickers.
A total of 19 First Team All-America players and three standout coaches will be announced as members of 2024 Class. The electees have been selected from the 2024 national ballot of 78 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 101 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.
The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 2024, at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Each inductee will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Atlanta on Aug. 23.
Wide Receiver, 1996-97
A fierce competitor with superior athletic ability, Randy Moss rewrote the record books in only two seasons at Marshall. The Rand, West Virginia, native now becomes the fifth Marshall player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American (consensus in 1996 and unanimous in 1997) as a wide receiver, Moss also earned First Team All-America honors as a kicker returner in 1996. He claimed the Biletnikoff Award in 1997, honoring the best wide receiver in the nation while finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1996, and he was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Vern Smith Award recipient as the conference’s MVP in 1997. He was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection (Southern Conference in 1996 and Mid-American Conference in 1997).
In two seasons, Moss caught 174 passes for 3,529 yards and 54 touchdowns while setting national, conference and school records. On special teams, he returned 32 kickoffs for 875 yards, averaging 27.3 yards, and 25 punts for 271 yards, averaging 10.8 yards, during his career. Moss’s 26 touchdown receptions in 1997 set an FBS (formerly Division I-A) record, and he caught a touchdown pass in all 13 games that season while amassing 96 receptions for 1,820 yards.
In Moss’s two seasons with the team (quarterbacked by 1999 NFF Campbell Trophy® winner Chad Pennington in 1997), Marshall went 28-3 overall. His first season, the Thundering Herd went 15-0 and won the Division I-AA (now FCS) National Championship. Moss caught 78 passes for 1,709 yards and 28 touchdowns that season, leading the nation. His second season, Marshall won the Mid-American Conference Championship in the school’s first year at the FBS level with a 10-3 record. Moss claimed MVP honors in the Mid-American Championship game in 1997, and the team went on to play Ole Miss in the Motor City Bowl.
He still holds Marshall records for receiving yards in a game (288), most touchdowns receptions in a game (5), most receiving yards in a season (1,820), most touchdowns receptions in a season (28), and most touchdown receptions in a career (54). He also still holds the Mid-American Conference records for most touchdown receptions in a game (5) and most touchdown receptions in a season (26).
A first round selection (21st overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft by Minnesota, Moss played 14 seasons with the Vikings, Raiders, Patriots, Titans and 49ers. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998, and he was a four-time All-Pro selection and six-time Pro Bowl pick. He was the NFL receiving leader five times, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Moss currently works as a football analyst for ESPN. His many charitable activities have included the Smile Network, which treats children with cleft palates, Links for Learning, which helps needy children in his home state of West Virginia, and the Women and Children’s Hospital of Charleston, West Virginia. He was inducted into the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 and the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
University of Utah
An exceptionally gifted passer and runner, Alex Smith went 21-1 as a starter, establishing himself as a transformational player during a new era of college football and the emergence of the spread offense. The La Mesa, California, product now becomes the first player from Utah to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Selected as a First Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America in 2004, Smith finished fourth the Heisman Trophy voting while claiming Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year honors. A Mountain West Conference (MWC) First Team selection in 2004 and Second Team in 2003, Smith led the Utes to MWC titles in 2003 and 2004. He was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Year in 2004.
Appearing in just two games as a freshman, Smith became the starter as a sophomore in 2003 after Urban Meyer took over as the Utes new head coach. In 11 games, Smith threw for 2,247 yards with 15 touchdowns, culminating with a win in the Liberty Bowl and a No. 21 final AP ranking. The following season, Smith led Utah to its first-ever 12-0 season and a BCS bowl berth, the Fiesta Bowl against Pitt. Alex Smith claimed MVP honors in the game, passing for 328 yards and four touchdowns in the 35-7 win. The Fiesta Bowl appearance marked the first time a team from a non-automatically qualifying BCS conference played in a BCS bowl, earning the Utes the distinction as the inaugural “BCS Buster.” The Utes would finish at No. 4 in the final AP Poll.
During the 2004 season, Smith ranked second nationally in efficiency rating (176.5), third in yards per attempt (9.3), fifth in completion percentage (67.5), and fifth in passing touchdowns (32). At the conference level, he set the record for career completion percentage (66.3% – now ranks fifth), and he led the MWC in passing (2,952 yards) and all-purpose yards per game (298.6 ypg) during 2004 season.
Smith holds Utes records for career pass efficiency (164.4), career yards per play (7.19), single-season touchdown passes (32 in 2004) and single-season total touchdowns (42 in 2004). He set Utah records for career completion percentage (63.3% — now 2nd), single-season pass efficiency (176.5 in 2004 – now 2nd), and career quarterback wins (21 – now 4th). Smith finished his career with 389 completions for 5,203 yards and 47 touchdowns, adding 286 rushes for 1,072 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
Smith also excelled in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year honors and as a First Team Academic All-America pick in 2004. He was also a two-time Academic All-Mountain West selection.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by San Francisco, he played 16 years for the 49ers, Chiefs and Commanders. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and he was named the recipient of the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award after recovering from a life-threatening injury to his leg.
Currently residing in Atherton, California, Smith works as an ESPN analyst and public speaker. He founded the Alex Smith Foundation, which provides support for foster teens, and the Guardian Scholars Program, which helps foster youths transition to college. He has testified at legislative hearings in California and in Congress on behalf of foster children, and the Boston Globe recognized his foundation in 2013 as one of the most effective athlete-run charities.
The Alex Smith Strength & Conditioning Center, which opened in the summer of 2009 at Utah, bears his name, and he appeared as a speaker at the NFF Campbell Trophy® Summit in 2022 and 2023. He was inducted into the Utah Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021 and the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2020.
1. First and foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the NFF’s Honors Court 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
3. While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2024 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1974 or thereafter. In addition, current professional players and/or coaches are not eligible until retirement.
5. A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years old. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
6. Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a potential candidate’s collegiate institution.
* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees. Veterans Committee candidates must still meet First Team All-America requirement.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME QUICK FACTS
When the 2024 Hall of Fame Class is officially inducted in December, only 1,093 players and 233 coaches will have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.71 million who have played or coached the game during the past 154 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.
Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 22 coaches, including Illinois’ Red Grange, Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle (PA)’s Jim Thorpe.
323 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
Induction for the 2024 Class will take place Dec. 10, 2024, during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas.