Former Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson and offensive lineman Dan Neil were placed on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation announced Monday. Only players who were named first-team All-Americans can be selected to the Hall of Fame.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a first-team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”
Johnson, a two-time first-team All-American, won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Butkus Award while at Texas. He was the unanimous Big 12 defensive player of the year in 2004 as well as the Big 12 male athlete of the year. He finished his Texas career with a 43-8 record. He tallied 458 tackles, 65 tackles for loss, 10.5 tacks, nine interceptions, and 11 forced fumbles during his time as a Longhorn.
In his final home game at Texas, Johnson wore the No. 60 jersey typically associated with linebacker excellence at the University of Texas and with College Football hall of famer Tommy Nobis. He was the last player to wear No. 60 until Breckyn Hager wore it in 2017 and 2018. Johnson went on to a 14-year NFL career, mostly with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Neil, who played at Texas from 1993 to 1996, was a four-year starter on the offensive line for the Longhorns. He was a two-time consensus first-team All-American, as well as a finalist for the Outland Trophy. He helped Texas win the final Southwest Conference title and the first Big 12 championship before he was picked in the third round of the 1997 draft by the Denver Broncos. Prior to his pro career, he set the school record for consecutive starts.
Twenty Longhorn players and three Texas coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Eighty players and nine coaches from FBS were placed on the ballot this year.
The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2023, with specific details to be announced in the future. The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2023, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2023 season.