Todd Lyght among three Notre Dame players on Hall of Fame ballot

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

Now comes the waiting game for Todd Lyght.

That is if history repeats itself for the newest Notre Dame football legend to find his way on to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Lyght, a former All-America cornerback for former ND coach Lou Holtz and now a first-year defensive backs coach for current Irish head coach Brian Kelly, is joined on the ballot by former Notre Dame stars Bob Crable and Rocket Ismail, along with 73 other FBS players and five coaches.

Additionally, there are 27 players on the ballot from college football’s lower divisions.

The most recent of Notre Dame’s record 45 inducted players, wide receiver Thom Gatewood, had to wait more than 30 years from his first ballot appearance to election into the hall.

The ballot will be e-mailed this week to the more than 12,000 members of the National Football Foundation and current College Hall of Famers, whose votes will be recorded and submitted to the NFF honors court.

That body will deliberate and select the class. Gene Corrigan, the former Notre Dame athletic director, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and NCAA past president, chairs the honors court, a 17-member panel.

The Hall of Fame class will be announced Jan. 8 in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz., for induction later that year.

Crable, a two-time All-America linebacker (1980-81) is on the ballot for the sixth time but not all consecutively. He is the school’s all-time leader in career (521), single-season (187) and single-game tackles (26).

Ismail is on the ballot for the fifth consecutive year. The wide receiver, who also dabbled as a running back and was an elite return man, was a consensus All-American in 1989 and a unanimous All-American in 1990. He was named Walter Camp Player of the Year in 1990 and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up.

Lyght was a unanimous All-America selection at cornerback in 1989, a year after starting on the 1988 national championship squad as a sophomore. He was a consensus All-American in 1990.

ND's first-year defensive backs coach, Todd Lyght, also happens to represent Notre Dame on the latest College Football Hall of Fame ballot. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN).