Joe Montana. Drew Brees. Keenan Reynolds.
This seems like the kind of company you would like to find yourself in. National Champions. Record-breaking college and NFL careers. Super Bowl MVPs.
But another thing that brings these three together is that none of them will ever be eligible for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The first requirement for eligibility into the Hall according to the National Football Foundation, which is listed in all caps on their website, states that "FIRST AND FOREMOST, A PLAYER MUST HAVE RECEIVED FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA RECOGNITION BY A SELECTOR RECOGNIZED BY THE NCAA AND UTILIZED TO COMPRISE THEIR CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICA TEAMS."
In general, this means that you have to be recognized as a first team All-American by either the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, or the Walter Camp Foundation.
Exceptions have been made for some players, such as Pat Tillman, the standout Arizona State linebacker and Silver Star recipient who was tragically killed by friendly fire after giving up his NFL career to enlist in the Army.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who earned third team All-American status from the Associated Press, but was not on the first two teams for any of the aforementioned organizations, will more than likely never find his way into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Despite all of the NCAA rushing and scoring records he holds and the ones he still has a chance to break in his final game next week in the Military Bowl (total TDs, total points, and rushing yards by QB) and his 5th place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting, Reynolds will never even find his way on the ballot.
Part of the problem with this for the quarterback position is that on each All-American team, there is only one quarterback named, whereas other positions have multiple first team All-Americans.
There is another part of Hall of Fame eligibility that states that "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 and fellow man."
Given Reynolds' future career as an Information Warfare officer in the Navy, one would think he would certainly meet this stipulation.
Maybe Major League Baseball should make earning a Cy Young award a requirement for eligibility to their Hall of Fame as a pitcher.
I get the intent behind having some sort of benchmark for eligibility, but isn't this why you have voters who elect people into the Hall of Fame?
For the National Football Foundation, if you receive a nomination, are screened by the NFF, and are then screened by the nearest District Screening Committee before making it onto the ballot, one would think you would be able to sort through more than just former first team All-Americans to decide who is worthy for eligibility to your Hall of Fame.
Maybe if we just keep this going for the next ten years, the rules will be changed before Keenan will have met the time requirement to become eligible.