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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
First-team All-Americans Bobby Engram, Jeff Hartings and Steve Wisniewski have been selected as a part of the national ballot for the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame's Class of 2019. A total of 76 players and six coaches from FBS are on the 2019 ballot.
The trio of standouts who were instrumental in helping Penn State post undefeated and championship seasons have an opportunity to join 19 former Nittany Lion players and five Penn State coaches who have been inducted into the Hall. Engram and Hartings are appearing on the ballot for the first time.
Also on the Hall of Fame ballot is former Nittany Lion student-athlete Glenn Killinger, who is among the candidates for the divisional coach Class of 2019. Killinger was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1966.
The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, California. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi's Stadium. Some of the electees will be on site during the announcement to represent the class and share their thoughts on being elected. The Jan. 7 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. Several of the electees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss before the Championship Game.
Engram helped Penn State to a 42-7 record during his career (1991, 1993-95), including a 19-5 record in Big Ten play. The recipient of the inaugural Biletnikoff Award in 1994 as the nation's top receiver, he helped Penn State to four bowl wins during his time in Happy Valley, including the 1995 Rose Bowl and 1992 Fiesta Bowl. In addition, Engram was selected as the MVP of the 1996 Outback Bowl and the 1993 Citrus Bowl (offensive MVP).
The native of Camden, South Carolina started every game in leading Penn State to the 1994 Big Ten Championship in its second year in the conference. The Nittany Lions defeated Oregon, 38-20, in the 1995 Rose Bowl to become the first Big Ten team to post a 12-0 record, earning the No. 2 final ranking by AP, UPI and USA Today/CNN. Penn State was ranked No. 1 by the New York Times and in the Sagarin computer rankings at the end of the 1994 season. The 1994 offense broke 14 school season records and seven Big Ten season marks, including points scored (526), touchdowns (71), points per game for all games (47.8 ppg), points per game for conference games (48.1 ppg), total offense (5,722 yards), total offense per game (520.2 ypg) and yards gained per play (7.64 ypp).
Along with winning the Biletnikoff Award in 1994, Engram claimed first-team All-America honors from Walter Camp. In 1995, he was a second-team All-American and Biletnikoff finalist after setting Penn State's single-season receiving yardage record with 1,084 yards. A three-time All-Big Ten first team selection, Engram still owns the school record for career receiving yards (3,026), career receiving touchdowns (31), season receiving scores (13) and 100-yard receiving games (16). Engram was the first player in program history to record two 1,000-yard seasons in his career. He is also the only player in Penn State history with multiple 200-yard receiving games.
Following his illustrious Penn State career, Engram was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He had a 14-year NFL career with the Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. He ranks 54th in NFL history with 650 career receptions. Engram is currently the wide receivers coach for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Hartings excelled on the field and in the classroom for the Nittany Lions, claiming first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and six first-team All-America accolades during his career. In 1995, he was an NFF Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete team honoree and Rotary Lombardi Trophy semifinalist.
The native of St. Henry, Ohio was the keystone of the offensive line that helped the 1994 offense break 14 school season records and seven Big Ten season marks, including points scored (526), touchdowns (71), points per game for all games (47.8 ppg), points per game for conference games (48.1 ppg), total offense (5,722 yards), total offense per game (520.2 ypg) and yards gained per play (7.64 ypp). The Nittany Lions also led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg) and total offense (520.2 ypg) and also led the Big Ten in rushing (250.9; 6th nationally) and passing offense (269.3 ypg; 12th nationally).
Hartings was a three-time All-Big Ten first team selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice in his career. He earned first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press and Walter Camp in 1994 and followed that up by collecting first-team All-America honors from UPI, AFCA, Sporting News and Walter Camp.
He was selected with the 23rd overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a three-time All-Pro selection, two-time Pro Bowl pick and member of the 1996 NFL All-Rookie Team.
Wisniewski was a three-year starter at guard for the Nittany Lions who would go on to become an All-Pro lineman in the NFL. He was one of two sophomores to start on the 1986 National Championship team and he opened holes for two first-team All-America running backs, Blair Thomas (1987) and D.J. Dozier (1986). One of just four Penn State offensive linemen to earn a pair of first-team All-America honors, he was recognized in 1988 by the American Football Coaches (AFCA) and repeated All-America accolades from Sporting News. A 1988 team captain, Wisniewski is one of just two offensive linemen to earn Penn State's team MVP honor since its creation in 1978.
From Westfield High School in Houston, Wisniewski was the first pick in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who immediately traded his rights to the Los Angeles Raiders. Wisniewski was a mainstay for the Raiders from 1989-2001, starting the final 175 games of his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, with six first-team All-Pro selections. He was elected a Raiders team captain seven times, was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1990's and to Oakland's 50-Year All-Raider Team. Wisniewski missed only two of a possible 208 career games.
Wisniewski's older brother, Leo, was a standout defensive lineman for the Nittany Lions from 1979-81. A nephew, Stefen, was a three-year starter on Penn State's offensive line, earning first-team All-America honors in 2010. He became the first Nittany Lion to earn Academic All-America honors three times and was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Stefen Wisniewski was a four-year starter with Oakland and currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.
From Harrisburg, Killinger was a Walter Camp All-American at quarterback for the Nittany Lions in 1921. He coached at Dickinson (1922), Rensselaer (1927-32), Moravian (1933) and West Chester (1934-41, 45-59). Killinger is the winningest coach in West Chester history and is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He died in 1988.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot, players must have been named a first-team All-America 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 to nomination; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts.
Penn State returns 13 starters (8 offensive, 3 defensive, 2 specialists) and 26 additional lettermen. The Nittany Lions open the season at Beaver Stadium against Appalachian State September 1.
More than 6,300 new season tickets have been sold for the 2018 season presented by PSECU. The public single game sale takes place beginning June 26. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.