Marshall nominates Moss for College Football Hall of Fame
Published 6:19 pm Friday, May 26, 2023
By GRANT TRAYLOR
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –Marshall University Athletics is proud to announce its nomination of Randy Moss for the College Football Hall of Fame.
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The nomination was recently submitted to the National Football Foundation by Marshall University Director of Athletics Christian Spears.
“Randy Moss has already done so much to put Marshall University in the national landscape in college football, and this nomination is one way that we can hopefully give back to him,” Spears said. “We are disappointed in ourselves that this nomination was not submitted sooner, but as the Director of Athletics at Marshall University, it is my absolute privilege to formally submit the request for the induction of Randy Moss into the College Football Hall of Fame.”
In the 1996 and 1997 seasons, Randy Moss rewrote the college football record books while starring at Marshall before moving on to one of the greatest NFL careers for a wide receiver in football history.
In two seasons with Marshall, Moss caught 174 passes for 3,529 yards and 54 touchdowns while setting several records at the national, conference and school level.
Moss’ 26 touchdown receptions in 1997 set an FBS (formerly Division I-A) record and he caught a touchdown pass in all 13 games that season while amassing 96 receptions for 1,820 yards. Those numbers earned him the 1997 Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top wide receiver.
Marshall Hall of Fame quarterback Chad Pennington, who teamed with Moss to form one of the greatest quarterback-receiver duos in college football, said that his measurables stand out, but Moss’s mentality is what separated him as one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game.
“Randy was the ultimate competitor,” Pennington said. “Beyond his athletic ability, his competitive nature and desire to win were unique and special. From the biggest stage in football to a simple game of pickup basketball, Randy was always driven to win and succeed.”
Moss’ first season with the Thundering Herd came in 1996 – the first for head coach Bob Pruett with the team.
Marshall went 15-0 and won the Division I-AA (now FCS) National Championship with Moss catching 78 passes for 1,709 yards and 28 touchdowns. That season helped set the tone for the Thundering Herd’s successful ascent into the FBS ranks.
In Moss’ two seasons with the team, Marshall went 28-3 overall while winning a I-AA National Championship and a Mid-American Conference Championship in their first year at the FBS level.
“Randy wanted to be the best and he wanted to prove it every time on the field,” former Marshall head coach Bob Pruett said. “If you didn’t use him, he was upset – especially in a tight ballgame. He had that much confidence in his ability. He was a leader and so smart.
“He is just awesome, on and off the field. I’m so proud of him for what he has done in football and after football. Even on (ESPN) after games now, he leads that group. They feed off him. I’m just so proud that he came to Marshall and I’m proud that he’s a West Virginian like myself.”
Marshall President Brad Smith agreed with the Thundering Herd’s legendary coach, stating that Moss’ impact gave West Virginia-born athletes a sense of pride and an example of the great success that can be attained for athletes from the Mountain State.
“As a proud West Virginian, I am cognizant of the accomplishments of fellow West Virginians on the national and worldwide scale,” Smith said. “Perhaps there has been no more impactful West Virginia-born football player in history than Randy Moss, who turned Marshall into a national name.”
Marshall football coach Charles Huff also said Moss’ overall impact on the sport of football cannot be stated enough – even speaking of how the way that defensive play changed due to the speedy receiver’s abilities on the field.
“Randy Moss put Marshall University on the map in 1996 and 1997 with his unreal athleticism and skill set while transforming the game,” Huff said. “To this day, there has arguably never been a better collegiate wide receiver to play the game. Teams wanted him on their team, defenses hated him and young kids – the future of the game – wanted to play just like him.”
The 2023 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame is expected to be announced in early June by the National Football Foundation.
Spears said the next few weeks will be an exciting time for Marshall Athletics and its fanbase as they await the ballot’s release.
“This is without a doubt that quintessential ‘no-brainer’ of all-time,” Spears said. “As a college football student-athlete, the Randy Moss record of accomplishments while at Marshall are quite frankly unparalleled and his induction will inspire others and remind people of the truly special career this remarkable individual had while he participated here for the Thundering Herd.”
Moss is a native of Rand, West Virginia, who starred in multiple sports at DuPont High School prior to coming to Marshall University.