Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2002, was among the leading names on the ballot released today by the National Football Foundation to be considered for Hall of Fame voting this year. The class will be announced on January 7, 2018, the day of the College Football national championship game.
Palmer should be a no-brainer selection based upon what he did at USC as the foundation upon which the Pete Carroll era was built. It was Palmer who put the program on his broad shoulders and led the magical turnaround of the 2002 season that resulted in an Orange Bowl win and Carroll proclaiming that the Trojans were “just getting started”.
As a senior in 2002 Palmer completed 309 of 489 passes for 3,942 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as the Trojans finished the season 11-2 with a victory over Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Palmer retired from the NFL this year after a length career with stops in Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona.
The Trojans were also represented on the ballot by defensive backs Troy Polamalu and Dennis Thurman. Polamalu was recently inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame as figures to be a first-year selection for the College Hall as well. Thurman had a successful career as a player and coach, and now serves on the USC radio pre-game broadcasts.
There are currently 43 Trojans in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Other players on the ballot include Vince Young, Marvin Harrison, Darren McFadden, Rashaan Salaam, Ray Lewis, Eric Crouch, Eric Dickerson and Joe Thomas.