IRVING, Texas – Former Gettysburg College football standouts Ray Condren ‘85 and Paul Smith ’00 have been announced as members of the 2020 National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame Ballot.
Condren and Smith are among 101 players from the divisional ranks, which includes all the institutions outside of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Condren was a pivotal component of Gettysburg’s success on the gridiron in the early 1980s. The 6-0, 200-pound fullback out of Swarthmore, Pa., gained more than 3,300 yards during his tenure with the Orange and Blue. Most of that yardage came in his final two seasons when he was tabbed American Football Coaches Association Division III All-America First Team twice.
Gettysburg claimed its first conference title in 19 seasons in 1983 as Condren bulled his way to 1,094 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 1984, the Bullets once again took home the Centennial Conference trophy with the fullback posting a school-record 1,449 rushing yards to go with a dozen touchdowns. Condren finished second in all of Division III in rushing average during his senior campaign.
Condren was twice named All-Centennial Conference First Team and All-ECAC First Team in addition to being named the ECAC Player of the Year in 1984. His career totals of 3,312 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns were each the second-best in school history at the time of his graduation. He was inducted into Gettysburg’s Hall of Athletic Honor in his first year of eligibility in 1995.
Smith blasted away every rushing and all-purpose yardage record at Gettysburg. The Ventnor, New Jersey, native rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first three collegiate contests and was tagged All-CC First Team. One year later as a sophomore, he led all of Division III with more than 2,300 all-purpose yards, garnered another all-conference first team nod, and landed his first All-America selection.
In 1998, Smith was named All-America First Team as a kick returner by the American Football Coaches Association of America after finishing second in the country with over 2,400 all-purpose yards. Smith put an emphatic stamp on his collegiate career in 1999 by breaking nearly all the records he had previously set. He gained a school and conference record 2,717 all-purpose yards, including a school-record 1,546 yards on the ground. He also broke the program record with 19 total touchdowns and was tabbed AFCA All-America First Team and CC Co-Player of the Year.
Smith’s outstanding career was punctuated with one of the greatest individual performances in the history of college football. In a conference match up with Muhlenberg College, he shattered the NCAA record with 527 all-purpose yards, including a school-record 390 yards rushing. His all-purpose yardage against Muhlenberg remains the Division III record nearly two decades following his graduation.
At the end of his career, Smith owned nearly every rushing, all-purpose, punt return, kick return, and scoring record at Gettysburg. He finished as Division III’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 9,104 and he was just the ninth collegiate player to finish with over 5,000 career rushing yards. Like Condren, Smith was inducted into Gettysburg’s Hall of Athletic Honor in his first year of eligibility in 2010.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first-team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; and played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Only 1,500 players were eligible for consideration for the 2020 ballot.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, depending on their school’s geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts.
The nominees will be voted on by more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class for the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago. The Honors Court annually reviews the Hall of Fame criteria to ensure a fair and streamlined process.
Of the 5.33 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 1,010 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have played the game during the past 150 years. From the coaching ranks, 219 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.
The announcement of the 2020 Class will be made in January 2020 in the days leading up to the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship in New Orleans. The January announcement will be televised and/or streamed live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. Several of the inductees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss before the championship game.