Bryant Museum

Former Alabama star defensive end E.J. Junior III is nominee for Hall of Fame

E.J. Junior III was unanimous All-America

Former Alabama football star E.J. Junior III is among those who have been selected for inclusion on the 2018 ballot for induction into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.
The primary requirement for being included on the ballot is that a player must have been a first team All-America selection in his playing career. Many are consensus All-America nominees, meaning having been selected on a majority of A-A teams. Fewer are unanimous, selected on all NCAA recognized All-America teams.
Junior, who came to Bama from Nashville to play for Coach Paul Bryant, was a unanimous All-America defensive end.
He was a member of two national championship teams, in 1978 and 1979, including being a part of the fabled goalline stand against Penn State in the Sugar Bowl to win the 1978 title.
He played on teams (1977-80) that went 44-4 and won three Southeastern Conference championships. He was a three-year starter and unanimlous All-America following his 1980 senior season. He was a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy.
Junior was a three-time first team All-SEC selection and 1980 SEC Lineman of the Year.
The ballot includes 75 former players and six former coaches in major college competition.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.19 million people have played college football and only 987 players have been inducted,” said NFF President Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a first team All-America creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. So being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game.
Those selected for the 2018 class will be made Jan. 8, 2018, as part of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game festivities. The game will be played later that day at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The class will be formally inducted in December, 2018, and then included in the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Inductees are also presented in on-campus salutes during the 2018 season.
Former Alabama players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame are Cornelius Bennett, Johnny Mack Brown, Paul Bryant, John Cain, Harry Gilmer, John Hannah, Frank Howard, Dixie Howell, Pooley Hubert, Don Hutson, Lee Roy Jordan, Woodrow Lowe, Marty Lyons, Vaughn Mancha, Johnny Musso, Bill Neighbors, Ozzie Newsome, Fred Sington, Riley Smith, Gene Stallings, Derrick Thomas, Frank Thomas, Wallace Wade, and Don Whitmire.
Junior was the fifth player drafted in the first round of the NFL draft following his Crimson Tide career. He played professionally with the St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals, Miami, Tampa Bay, and Seattle.


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