One year after former University of Alabama defensive lineman E.J. Junior was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, two more Crimson Tide legends could join him.
The Hall of Fame and National Football Foundation released their list of nominees for the 2021 induction class into the College Football Hall of Fame, a list that included former UA defensive back Antonio Langham and offensive lineman Chris Samuels. Gordo native and former Troy coach Larry Blakeney was also nominated, the three of them being part of 78 players and seven coaches nominated from the FBS levels, plus 99 players and 33 coaches from all other divisions.
The announcement of the nominees was delayed a week due to damage at the College Football Hall of Fame after protests in Atlanta.
Langham was a unanimous first team All-American in 1993, winning the Thorpe Award. Langham was a starter on UA’s 1992 national championship team and a three-time All-SEC selection. He remains UA’s leader in career interceptions with 19, the closest recent challenge coming from Robert Lester with 14 from 2009-2012.
Samuels was a unanimous first team All-American in 1999 and winner of the Outland Trophy. His UA career included two first team All-SEC selections, the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy and the 1999 SEC Championship. Samuels was the best blocker in Shaun Alexander’s 1999 season that saw him run for 1,383 yards, 19 touchdowns and a seventh-place finish in Heisman Trophy voting.
Blakeney remains the winningest coach in Sun Belt history, winning that conference five times and the Southland Conference three times. In navigating Troy in the jump from FCS to FBS, he made seven trips to the FCS playoffs in eight seasons and led Troy to four bowl games, including wins in the 2006 and 2010 New Orleans Bowls. Blakeney — a 2009 inductee into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame — was an assistant at Auburn for 13 years before his 24-year stint leading the Trojans.
To be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame, a player must have received first team All-American honors by a selector recognized by the NCAA. Coaches must have been a head coach for at least 10 seasons with at least a .600 winning percentage of 100 games minimum
The 2021 inducting class will be announced in early 2021; the exact date is not set yet.