The College Football Hall of Fame and The National Football Foundation announced their 2022 Hall of Fame ballot. Among the 217 total names on the ballot, five should stand out among Patriots fans – Michael Bishop, Matt Cavanaugh, Vincent Brown, Kevin Faulk, and Tyrone Poole.
Michael Bishop, Kansas State-Quarterback-1998 consensus First Team All-American and winner of the Davey O’Brien Award…1998 Heisman Trophy runner-up who led the Cats to 1998 Big 12 North title and berth in conference championship…Two-time all-Big 12 selection, setting 14 conference and 34 school records by career’s end.
After being drafted in the 7th round of the 1999 NFL Draft, Michael Bishop spent most of his rookie year as an understudy to Drew Bledsoe. He served as the backup quarterback for the Patriots in 2000 while only appearing in 8 games.
Matt Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh-Quarterback-1977 First Team All-American who led the Panthers to a 1976 national title…Led Pitt to three consecutive bowl wins, earning MVP honors in the 1977 Sugar and 1977 Gator bowls…Finished Pitt career ranked second all-time (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,916 career yards of total offense.
Cavanaugh was a second round selection for the Patriots in 1978 and spent his first four seasons with the Patriots. While serving mainly as a backup to Patriots Hall of Famer Steve Grogan, Cavanaugh did make 15 starts for New England and completed 206 passes for 3,018 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Vincent Brown, Mississippi Valley State-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-American, leading the NCAA in tackles in 1986 and 1987…Set NCAA All-Divisions record with 570 career tackles…Two-time All-SWAC selection who led MVSU in tackles his last three seasons.
Vincent Brown joined the Patriots as a second round selection in the 1988 NFL Draft. Brown played his entire eight year career in New England where he tallied 16.5 sacks and 10 interceptions, both ranking near the top 30 in franchise history. Brown finished his career after the 1995 season, his veteran leadership was crucial in properly handing over the reigns to the next generation of Patriots linebackers of Ted Johnson, Willie McGinest, and Tedy Bruschi.
Kevin Faulk, LSU-Running Back-1996 First Team All-American who finished career ranked fourth in NCAA history in all-purpose yards (6,833)…Three-time First Team All-SEC selection and 1995 SEC Freshman of the Year…Set 11 school records during career and became first LSU back to average 100 yards per game during entire career.
Following an impressive college career in Baton Rouge, Kevin Faulk was a second round selection in 1999 and played his entire 13 year career for the Patriots. Faulk quickly climbed the yards ladder as a returner, running back, and receiving back. He finished his career with 12,349 all-purpose yards, the most in franchise history. Faulk was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2016.
Tyrone Poole, Fort Valley State (GA)-Defensive Back-First Team All-America selection in 1994…Two-time Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Defensive Player of the Year (1993-94) who led FVSU to two conference titles…Recorded 44 pass breakups and 17 interceptions, returning four for TDs.
Defensive back Tyrone Poole signed as a free agent with the Patriots ahead of the 2003 NFL season. Joining a strong defensive backfield of Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Asante Samuel, Antwan Harris, and Eugene Wilson, Poole proved to be a solid veteran addition to one of the best defenses in football. Poole spent three seasons in New England, hauling in seven interceptions and knocking down 24 passes while taking home two Super Bowl championship rings in the process.