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Two Former Illinois Football Players on 2025 Hall of Fame Ballot

Illinois football legends, Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy, earned a big-time honor for 2025.



Two Former Illinois Football Players on 2025 Hall of Fame Ballot
Champaign, IL USA; FILE PHOTO; Illinois Illini linebacker Kevin Hardy (51) against the Arizona Wildcats at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Two Former Illinois Football Players on 2025 Hall of Fame Ballot

There will be two former Illinois football players on the 2025 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice were stars on the defensive side of the football for the University of Illinois who went on to successful NFL careers. For reference, former Super Bowl champ, Aaron Donald, is on the ballot given his outstanding career at Pitt. The ballot also features prominent coaches such as Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. The class of 2025 will be announced sometime in January 2025.

Subsequent Draft Picks

Hardy and Rice were so talented that they were the 2nd and 3rd overall picks of the 1996 NFL draft respectively. Hardy went to the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Rice went to the Arizona Cardinals. During his time at Illinois, Hardy recorded 330 total tackles, 18 sacks, and 18 tackles for loss. Rice had an impressive 44.5 total sacks and 69 tackles for loss.

Rice had the most impressive NFL career of the two. He had three pro-bowl selections and won a Super Bowl in 2003 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Regardless, both Hardy and Rice have solid cases to make the 2025 College Football Hall of Fame given their storied careers. They are truly Illinois Football legends.

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