ATHENS---- Former University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt and former All-America running back Garrison Hearst have been named to the College Football Hall of Fame 2023 ballot according to an announcement Monday by the National Football Foundation.
Richt and Hearst are among 80 former players and nine coaches included on the Football Bowl Subdivision ballot.
“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 & 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.”
Richt compiled a UGA record of 145-51 (.738) from 2001-2015 which included 85-40 in SEC play. His teams won two SEC championships (2002 and 2005), five SEC championship game appearances, 15 consecutive bowl games, eight top ten final poll finishes, and a 42-2 record against non-conference opponents in Sanford Stadium. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2005.
A total of 301 football student-athletes earned their degrees during Mark Richt era as head coach and his players earned eight Academic All-America honors.
Hearst was the 1992 Doak Walker Award recipient as the country’s most outstanding running back. He was a consensus All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
Hearst averaged 6.8 yards per carry shattering Bo Jackson's SEC record single season average of 6.4. Hearst also broke three of Herschel Walker's SEC records by setting new conference marks for single season points scored (126), total touchdowns (21), and rushing touchdowns (19). His 1,910 all-purpose yards was second most in SEC history for a single season.
The Lincolnton, Ga., native led the nation in touchdowns scored (21), and average points per game (11.5), was second nationally in rushing average (140.6 yards per game), and fourth nationally in all-purpose running (173.6 yards per game).