Georgia football legend, Garrison Hearst, is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for 2022.
Georgia football is Running Back University, they have had a long list of great running backs that go all the way back to the great Charley Trippi. Of course, you can’t talk about Georgia running backs without mentioning the greatest of all time, Herschel Walker. However there is a running back that gets left out of the discussions at times. That running back is the legendary Garrison Hearst.
In 1992 Hearst narrowly missed winning the Heisman Trophy, but he is up for a much more prestigious award this time around. Hearst finds himself on the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. Will the Georgia native find himself enshrined in Atlanta with the 19 other former Bulldogs that are currently there? Let’s check out what the criteria for that would be.
According to the National Football Foundation, here are the criteria to qualify for being put on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot:
- First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
- A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
- While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
- Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2022 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1972 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
- A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
- Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach, or sports information director (SID) of a potential candidate’s collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The case for Garrison Hearst to be put into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hearst ran for 5,122 yards and 52 touchdowns while at Lincoln County High School. His production at RB led the team to three state titles. Hearst was also Georgia’s high school football player of the year in 1989. He committed to play for Georgia football in 1990 and left for the NFL after the 1992 season. Hearst amassed 3778 total yards on 588 total touches for an average of 6.4 yards per touch. He also scored 35 touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Here is where he sits on Georgia football’s all-time leaderboards:
- Most Rushes – Career: 543, 6th
- Most Rushing Yards – Game: 246 vs Vanderbilt, 1992, 4th
- Most Rushing Yards – Season: 1,547, 1992, 4th
- Most Rushing Yards – Career: 3,232, 5th
- Average Yards Per Game – Season: 140.6, 1992, 5th
- Average Yards Per Game – Career: 97.9, 5th
- Most Rushing Touchdowns – Season: 19, 1992, 1st
- Most Rushing Touchdowns – Career: 33, 5th
- Average Gain Per Rush (minimum 200 rushes) – Season: 6.79, 2nd
- Average Gain Per Rush – Career: 5.95, 8th
- Most Games Gaining 100 Yards or more – Season: 9, 3rd
- Most Games Gaining 200 Yards or more – Season: 1, 3rd
- Most Games Gaining 100 Yards or more – Career: 16, 4th
- Most Seasons 1500 Yards or more: 1, 2nd
That 1992 Season was special for Hearst and is one of the best individual rushing seasons in Georgia football history. The hardware Hearst racked up that year is evidence of this.
- 1992 Doak Walker Award
- 1992 SEC Player of the Year
- 1992 Consensus All-American
- 1993 Citrus Bowl MVP
Here are some highlights of Hearst from that magical 1992 season from UGA Vault:
These accomplishments show exactly why Hearst is being considered for the College Football Hall of Fame. If anyone deserves to be in it is Hearst. Hopefully, the committee agrees and they get it right, unlike the 1992 Heisman Trophy voting.