The voting for this year’s class for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is officially underway, and the ballots will contain some names that are very familiar to fans of the Minnesota Vikings.
On Monday, the National Football Foundation sent out over 12,000 ballots to its members and current Hall of Fame members so that they could vote on the 81 players that are up for potential induction. Of those 81 names, five of them have ties to the Minnesota Vikings. They are as follows:
- Steve Hutchinson, Michigan - During his time with the Wolverines, Hutchinson was a four-time All-Big Ten player, and was a part of the team that won Michigan’s most recent National Championship in 1997. He played six seasons with the Vikings after starting his career with the Seattle Seahawks.
- E.J. Henderson, Maryland - A second-round pick if the Vikings in 2002, he was a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the Terrapins. He’s still a member of the Vikings’ organization, doing work as part of their Youth Football program.
- Morten Andersen, Michigan State - Andersen was only the Vikings’ kicker for one year, and he was the kicker for the Atlanta Falcons in 1998, so you’ll forgive me if that’s all I’m going to say about Morten Andersen.
- Brad Culpepper, Florida - Culpepper played for the Vikings in 1992 and 1993 after being selected in the tenth round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He holds the record for tackles for a loss by a Gators’ defensive lineman with 47.5.
- Eric Bieniemy, Colorado - While Bieniemy never actually played for the Vikings, he was part of the team’s coaching staff for five seasons. He was a first-team All-American for the Buffaloes, and helped the team to win the National Championship in 1990. That was so long ago that the conference was still the Big 8 rather than the Big 12.
I’m not sure why Hutchinson isn’t in already, to be honest. . .he was dominant in college and will hopefully get recognized for that this year.
Best of luck to the five former members of the Vikings’ organization that are up for induction as part of the next College Football Hall of Fame class.