JONESBORO, Ark. (6/4/18) – The late Calvin Harrell, a former two-time First Team All-America selection who helped lead the Arkansas State football team to the 1970 NCAA College Division national championship, has been selected to appear on the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame divisional ballot, announced Monday by the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame.
A four-year letterman at A-State from 1968-71, Harrell is one of 100 players to appear on this year’s divisional ballot. Out of the 5.26 million individuals who have played college football all-time, just 997 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less that two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 149 years.
Arkansas State posted an 11-0 record under head coach Bennie Ellender on its way to the national title in 1970, the same year Harrell rushed for 1,131 yards and 12 touchdowns to earn First Team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). One season later in 1971, Harrell again received the recognition from the AFCA after recording 961 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He was also tabbed Second Team All-America by the Associated Press in both 1970 and 1971.
Harrell helped A-State collect three Southland Conference championships from 1968-70 as the team posted an 11-0-1 league record over that span. Each of those teams also played in the Pecan Bowl, winning the game in both 1969 and 1970.
Harrell ended his collegiate career with 660 rushing attempts for 2,935 yards and 26 touchdowns, all of which still stand as top-10 marks in school history. He still holds the Arkansas State record for career 100-yard rushing games with 18, while his rushing attempts rank fourth, rushing touchdowns sixth and rushing yards seventh.
The three-time First Team All-Southland Conference pick (1969-71) joined the Arkansas State Athletics Hall of Honor in 1994 and two years later in 1996 became A-State football’s first Ring of Honor inductee. Harrell was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Following his senior season in 1971, he was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the NFL Draft before going on to play five seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos. He helped lead the Eskimos to the 1974 Grey Cup game and completed his professional career with 1,419 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 346 carries. He also caught 116 passes for 1,203 yards and seven touchdowns in 45 games played.
The 2019 College Football Hall of Fame ballot has been sent to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class.
The 2019 Class will be announced Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi’s Stadium.