30 Aug 1997: Wide receiver Randy Moss #88 of the Marshall Thundering Herd carries to football during the Thundering Herd 42-31 loss to the West Virginia Moutaineers at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss breaks the Texas monopoly on our SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame with a unanimous induction. Follow @SBNationCFB
Whatever his reputation off the field -- and it started back when he was in high school -- there's no denying that Randy Moss is one of the most athletically blessed players to put on a college uniform. And that made him an easy unanimous selection to be the first wide receiver to enter the SB Nation Hall of Fame.
How good was Randy Moss? So good that the Marshall player (after being dismissed at Notre Dame and Florida State) was nominated by our West Virginia blog, The Smoking Musket.
As much as it pains this WVU fan to nominate a Marshall player, Randy Moss's abilities are simply too great to ignore. After transferring from both Notre Dame and Florida State due to disciplinary issues, Moss terrorized the competition throughout his two years in Huntington. As a freshman in 1996, he led the Thundering Herd to an undefeated season and the I-AA national championship, catching 78 passes for 1,709 yards and 28 touchdowns (which tied Jerry Rice's I-AA record) and averaging 34.0 yards per kickoff return. In 1997, Marshall's first in I-A, he led the Herd to the MAC title to the tune of 96 receptions for 1,820 yards and 26 touchdowns (at the time a I-A record), was voted an All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner, and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
That's 3,529 total yards and 54 total touchdowns -- in two seasons. Perhaps it wasn't fair to ask Division I-AA players to defend Moss -- okay, it wasn't -- but Moss still made the most of his situation. And Moss' career in the pros proves that his success was not a function of playing against lesser competition.
The SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame is a summer project involving all of the network's excellent college football blogs. Each community nominated five of its own for inclusion, with 10 of those nominees being inducted by our selection committee, which included reps from most FBS conferences. The inaugural class' first 10 will be revealed Monday and Tuesday, while the remaining 10 will be chosen by public vote Wednesday and Thursday.