ATHENS — Former Georgia football All-American defensive back Champ Bailey was among the names announced on the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame ballot on Tuesday.
The National Football Foundation released the names of 78 players (and 7 coaches) from the FBS ranks who are being voted on by NFF members and current College Football Hall of Famers.
The size of each College Football Hall of Fame class varies, typically between 13 and 15, though last year’s class swelled to 19.
The 2021 Class will be announced in early 2021, with the induction taking place on Dec. 7, 2021, at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Bailey made the rare jump from first-time nominee to the ballot. He was selected out of group (District 2) of nominees that included players from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Bailey was once a teammate of current Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart in the Georgia secondary from 1996-98.
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) June 16, 2020
But Bailey’s contributions went beyond the defense. He was voted a consensus All-American on account of his performance on offense, defense and special teams.
ESPN named Bailey the No. 149 greatest college football player of all time in January.
Georgia legend Herschel Walker was No. 2 on the controversial all-time greatest list behind Jim Brown.
Bailey, who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in August of 2019, put together one of the most sensational all-around seasons in college football history in 1998.
The former Charlton County High School standout won the Bronco Nagurski award — which annually goes to the nation’s best defensive player — but he also accumulated more than 1,000 yards of offense while taking more than 1,000 total snaps.
Bailey finished that season with 52 tackles, 3 interceptions, 744 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, 49 punt return yards and 216 kick return yards. Bailey also finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting that season.
Also a part of the Bulldogs’ track and field team, Bailey set what was then an indoor long jump record at the 1998 SEC Championship meet.
The Washington Redskins made Bailey the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. Bailey had run the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds and recorded a 42-inch vertical jump during combine testing.
Bailey went on to become a 12-time NFL Pro Bowl selection during his stints with the Redskins (1999-2003) and Denver Broncos (2004-2013).
Former Georgia all-time great David Pollack was announced as a member of the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame in March.
Pollack, the most decorated defensive player in UGA history, was announced on the 2020 ballot at this time last year. He will be inducted into the hall of fame on Dec. 8 in New York.
Champ Bailey and Kirby Smart
#UGA’s 38-7 win over Arkansas St. in 1997—the first of two times entering Saturday the Bulldogs have faced the team then known as the “Indians”—featured @champbailey laying the wood, and Kirby Smart saving touchdowns: pic.twitter.com/mw4LRPwEN8
— Patrick Garbin (@patrickgarbin) September 10, 2019
Ray Lewis, Champ Bailey and others headline the 2021 @cfbhall ballot!
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) June 16, 2020