On Wednesday, the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame ballot was released, and it includes several former Cincinnati Bengals who will be eligible to be voted into the HOF.
The most notable of which is All-Pro corner David Fulcher. Now 51 years of age, Fulcher played for Arizona State University, while being one of the best defenders in college football. He was twice named a First-Team All-American while earning consensus honors in both 1984 and 1985. He recorded 14 interceptions and 286 tackles in his career.
Then in the NFL with the Bengals (1986-92) and Los Angeles Raiders (1993), Fulcher was a three-time Pro Bowl selection for the Bengals (1988, 1989, 1990). He was a First-Team All-Pro in 1989 and Second-Team All-Pro in 1990.
During his time with the Bengals from 1986-93, Fulcher experienced the exhilarating highs and painful lows of winning and losing. Fulcher was on the last Bengals Super Bowl team in 1988, and in 1990 he was part of the Bengals last team with a winning season until 2005.
Another former Bengal making the ballot is defensive back Mark Carrier. His college football glory came with the University of Southern California, where he was a two-time First-Team All-American (1988-89) and the 1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner. Carrier was the No. 6-overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.
Carrier later enjoyed an 11-year NFL career as a safety before beginning his coaching career at Arizona State from 2004–2005. Carrier eventually wound up in Cincinnati as a defensive backs coach in 2012, but left this offseason.
Another notable Bengal on the ballot is defensive back Rickey Dixon. A 1987 consensus First-Team All-American and winner of the 1987 Jim Thorpe Award with Oklahoma, Dixon was a two-time First-Team All-Big Eight selection and member of 1985 National Championship team.
He finished career as school leader in single-season interceptions with nine and ranked second all-time with 17 career interceptions. Dixon then went on to play for the Bengals as a reserve DB in 73 games while registering six interceptions from 1988-1992.
One other former Bengal who had a great football career is linebacker Bill Bergey. A standout backer at Arkansas State, Bergey was a 1968 First-Team All-American. He racked up 436 career tackles, which rank second all-time in program history.
Bergey was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 1969 Common Draft and was an AFL All-Star in his first year. Bergey started for the Bengals for five years and finished with nine interceptions and six fumble recoveries over 68 games in Cincy before leaving to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Hall of Fame ballot was emailed this week to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF's Honors Courts, which deliberate and select the class.
The tradition of announcing the College Football Hall of Fame inductees on the Friday before the national title game does not have an impact on the induction ceremonies, which continue to take place during the NFF Awards Dinner in New York.