RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
To be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, players must have been named to one of five All-America teams recognized by the NCAA and be 10 years removed from playing in college. They must also be nominated by their school. National Football Foundation members are given a ballot with dozens of eligible players each year and then the NFF's honors court picks the inductees from the top vote-getters.
Now that Alabama star Derrick Thomas is in the Hall of Fame, here are five of the best players who were on this year's ballot still waiting to get into the Hall:
Eric Dickerson, RB, SMU (1979-82) -- One of the greatest running backs to ever play, but being a part of an SMU program that was given the death penalty by the NCAA for paying players is a big stumbling block.
Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma (1984-86) -- The Boz was a two-time All-American who played for some of coach Barry Switzer's best Sooner teams. He was also a vocal and flamboyant critic of the NCAA and was suspended for what would have been the final game of his college career for a failed steroid test.
Ricky Williams, RB, Texas (1995-98) -- The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner now takes Thomas' place as the Hall of Fame's most obvious omission. He left Texas as major college football's career rushing leader with 6,592 yards.
Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska (1997-2001) -- The 2001 Heisman Trophy winner left Nebraska as the school's career leader in total offense.
Jerome Brown, DT, Miami (1983-86) -- A dominating defensive tackle on some of the Hurricanes' greatest teams. He was killed in a car crash in 1992 at the age of 27.
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