The strong class includes Barry Sanders, Joe Theismann and Ricky Bell.
Theismann quarterbacked Notre Dame to a 25-4-3 record in three seasons, and was second to Jim Plunkett in the 1970 Heisman voting. Theismann threw for 4,411 yards and 31 touchdowns and ranked second in school history in passing when he was done. He set 19 school records, and now ranks seventh on Notre Dame's all-time passing list.
Bell, who starred at Southern California in the mid-1970s, was a two-time All-American. He led the nation in rushing in 1975 with 1,957 yards, and finished second in the '76 Heisman balloting behind Tony Dorsett. Bell died in 1984 at the age of 29 of cardiac arrest brought on by rare skin and muscle disease.
The other players chosen were Murry Bowden, a defensive back at Dartmouth from 1968-70; Tom Brown, a guard at Minnesota, from 1958-60; Jimbo Covert, an offensive tackle at Pittsburgh, from 1979-82; Jerry LeVias, an end at SMU from 1965-68 and the first black to receive an athletic scholarship at the school; Billy Neighbors, a tackle at Alabama, 1959-61; Ron Pritchard, a linebacker at Arizona State, 1966-68; and John Rauch, a quarterback at Georgia, 1945-48.
Former coaches Hayden Fry and Doug Dickey were also selected to the hall.
The new class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a banquet Dec. 9 in New York. The new hall members will be officially enshrined in August 2004.