Three former Nittany Lions are on the 2014 ballot for induction into the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame. All three players were teammates and played big roles on the 1986 championship team. Running back D.J. Dozier, offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski and linebacker Shane Conlan, who were all first-team All-Americans, are under consideration for the 2014 class.
Dozier is remembered for scoring the game-winning touchdown against Miami in the 1987 National Championship Fiesta Bowl. He was a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings and played in the NFL until 1991 before playing the 1992 season in major league baseball with the New York Mets.
Conlan is considered among one of the best linebackers to ever play at Penn State. He had a very decorated career for the Nittany Lions and appeared in back-to-back championship games, losing to Oklahoma in 1986 and defeating Miami in 1987. In the Fiesta Bowl against the Hurricanes, he made eight tackles and recorded two interceptions. His second pick was returned to the five-yard line, setting up Dozier’s game-winning run. Aside from being an All-American, Conlan was a finalist in 1986 for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker. Like Dozier, he was selected in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He played in the NFL from 1987-1995 for the Bills and Rams.
Wisniewski is one of the best offensive linemen that has played for the Nittany Lions. He was an outstanding offensive guard who was named an All-American in 1987 and 1988. Like the other two Penn State nominees, he played a key role in the Fiesta Bowl victory over Miami. Wisniewski was taken in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, but was traded to the Raiders, whom he spent his entire NFL career with.
With three nominations for 2014, Penn State is tied for the most.
17 former Penn State players and five coaches are enshrined in the Hall. The most recent inductees are running back Curt Warner in 2009 and former head coach Joe Paterno in 2007.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in May and officially inducted in December.
Follow VBR Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter