UTAH UTES

Alex Smith, Eric Weddle On 2023 College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot

Jun 6, 2022, 10:04 AM
Alex Smith - NFL Draft...
Quarterback Alex Smith (Utah) poses with his jersey during the 70th NFL Draft on April 23, 2005 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Smith was drafted first overall by the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith and safety Eric Weddle have been placed on the 2023 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. It is hard to think of two figures who helped change the landscape of college football in the last 20 years or so as much as Smith and Weddle who were part of Utah’s BCS “busting” 2004 team.

About The Ballot

There are 80 players  and nine coaches from the FBS level on the 2023 CFHOF ballot this year along with 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks. 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers have received the 2023 ballot to vote on Monday morning. The results of the voting will be revealed early in 2023.

Unbelievable Careers

Both Smith and Weddle had unbelievable careers in college and the NFL.

Smith went on to be the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2005 despite not being high on anyone’s radar out of high school. After the 2004 season, Smith finished as a first-team All-American. Smith’s career at Utah ended with 5,203 passing yards, 47 touchdown passes, 1,072 rushing, and 15 rushing scores. He was a two-time All-MWC selection while earning MWC Offensive Player of the Year and National Player of the Year honors by Sports Illustrated in 2004.

In the NFL, Smith had a 16 year-long career that saw three Pro-Bowl invitations. Most impressively though was how Smith finished his career after suffering a leg injury that almost killed him. Smith eventually made his way back to the field with Washington in 2020 and earned the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award for his gritty performance.

Weddle was another player who was not highly sought after in high school, but went on to have a big college and NFL career.

At Utah, Weddle recorded 277 tackles, 165 of which were solo stops, 10 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries (two for touchdowns), 18 interceptions (three touchdowns), and 23 pass breakups. Weddle’s 18 interceptions would be a MWC record and is currently second all-time in Utah history. In 2006, Weddle earned consensus All-American honors.

Weddle went on to have a 14-year NFL career that ended with him coming out of retirement in 2021 to help the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl victory. During Weddle’s career he earned six Pro Bowl invites, two All-Pro first-team selections, and three second-team honors.

 

 

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