UPDATE: According to ESPN.com, the College Football Hall of Fame has a rule that prevents a school having players inducted in back-to-back years. A ridiculous rule, to be sure, and, if true, Bruschi couldn’t have made it this year because Rob Waldrop got in last year. Then why even have Bruschi on the ballot?
Tedy Bruschi will make the College Football Hall of Fame some day. Today was not that day.
Bruschi, the emotional engine of the Arizona Wildcats’ famed Desert Swarm defenses, was not among the 14 players selected Tuesday morning to this year’s induction class. He was appearing on the ballot for the third time.
Before he would go on to play linebacker for the New England Patriots, appear in five Super Bowls and inspire with his return from a 2005 stroke, Bruschi was the popular, high-energy sack master for Arizona.
Bruschi, as a speedy and relentless defensive end, made 52 sacks for the Wildcats, tied for the most in NCAA history with Alabama’s Derrick Thomas.
Bruschi arrived at UA in 1991 as a lightly-recruited player from Roseville, Calif.; his only other Pac-10 scholarship offer was from Washington State. He so impressed in his first fall camp that coach Dick Tomey chose him as a starter for the season opener, although a pinched nerve cost Bruschi the first three games of the season. Bruschi played in two games in 1991 before a suffering a thumb injury and receiving a medical hardship.
He — and the Wildcats — burst onto the scene in 1992, a season that included a victory over top-ranked Washington. In 1993, Bruschi posted 19 sacks and helped Arizona lead the nation in rushing defense, allowing a stingy 30.1 yards per game.
He was a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player. Bruschi earned second-team All-America honors in 1993, was a consensus All-American in 1994 and a unanimous All-American in 1995.
Arizona has three players in the College Football Hall of Fame — linebacker Ricky Hunley was enshrined in 1988, safety Chuck Cecil was inducted in 2009, defensive tackle Rob Waldrop made it in last year.
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