Ballots are rolling in for the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame induction class and a pair of star CFL quarterbacks are getting serious consideration.
The more than 12,000 eligible voters of the National Football Foundation are currently considering the candidacy of 217 star players and coaches for the 2022 class ahead of the June 25 voting deadline, including NFL standouts like Champ Bailey, Julius Peppers, Marshawn Lynch and Andrew Luck. But among the names eligible are some names more familiar to fans north of the border, namely star passers Michael Bishop and Matt Dunigan.
Bishop, the lone nominee in the FBS category with significant CFL ties, is remembered for quarterbacking Kansas State to the 1998 Big 12 North title and berth in conference championship. That same year he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up to future CFLer Ricky Williams, a consensus First Team All-American and the winner of the Davey O’Brien Award.
After being drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, he found his way to Canada in 2002 as a member of the Toronto Argonauts. Bishop spent parts of seven season in the six, primarily as a backup, before finishing his career in Saskatchewan and Winnipeg.
He completed 760 of 1,492 career passes for 11,722 yards, 66 touchdowns and 77 interceptions, while rushing for 1,387 yards and 12 scores.
While a lesser known name to college football fans, Matt Dunigan stands apart from the pack for the CFL faithful among the Divisional player candidates. A 1982 First Team All-American and Southland Conference Player of the Year, he set Louisiana Tech career records for completions (550), passing yards (7,042) and TD passes (40) before arriving in Edmonton in 1983.
The Canadian Football Hall of Famer and two-time Grey Cup champion spent 14 seasons split between Edmonton, B.C., Toronto, Winnipeg, Birmingham and Hamilton. He was named a league All-Star three times, finishing his career 3,057 of 5,476 passing for 43,857 yards, 303 touchdowns and 211 interceptions.
In 2004, Dunigan served as head coach and general manager of the Calgary Stampeders, finishing 4-14. He is best known for his popular role on the CFL on TSN panel.
Several other notable CFL players are also eligible, including current Toronto Argonauts offensive line coach Stephen McAdoo. The two-time First Team All-America selection along the offensive line for Middle Tennessee State played two seasons with the expansion Shreveport Pirates before entering the coaching ranks. He’s spent time with Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton, but was offensive coordinator of the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2016 to 2019.
1996 Walter Payton Award winner Archie Amerson is eligble as Northern Arizona’s all-time career rushing leader, but excelled in eight seasons as a receiver for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and briefly the Toronto Argonauts. He hauled in 436 catches for 6,298 yards and 37 touchdowns, adding 356 carries for 1,654 yards and eight scores on the ground.
Mississippi Valley State’s Bob Gaddis was a 1974 First Team All-American and the Pittsburgh Courier National Receiver of the Year before spending five season with the Alouettes, Argos and Bombers. The 1978 CFL All-Star had 188 catches for 2,997 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Little Tony Miles led Northwest Missouri State to back-to-back Division II National Championships as a two-time All-American receiver, before spending five years with the Argos sandwiched between year long stints in Hamilton. The 2003 CFL All-Star was a dangerous returner who also caught 383 passes for 5,245 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Defensive back Fran McDermott was a two-time First Team All-America selection at tiny St. Mary’s in California. He had a six season career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, coming down with 21 interceptions, three defensive scores and league All-Star honours in 1982.
Fellow 1982 All-Star Peter Catan spent three years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being named a two-time First Team All-America selection at Eastern Illinois. He racked up 26.5 sacks before jumping to the USFL, returning for one game with the Ticats in 1987.
Among the eligible players who had brief forays in the CFL are quarterbacks Ken Dorsey, Jeff Loots and Graham Harrell, running back Rashaan Salaam, receiver Peter Warrick, offensive lineman Joe Garten, linebacker Steve Cockerham, kicker Luis Zendejas, and coaches Darryl Rogers, Jim Ostendarp and Lou Wacker.