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Tennessee Coach Heupel & VFL Eric Berry nominated for College Football Hall of Fame

The two are among 99 former players across the nation nominated for the 2022 class.

IRVING, Texas — The National Football Foundation announced on June 2 three former Vols and current head coach Josh Heupel are on the 2022 ballot to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Former players Eric Berry, Willie Gault and Larry Seivers are representing the Tennessee Volunteers on the ballot. Berry was a defensive back while Gault and Seivers were wide receivers. 

Coach Heupel is on the ballot for a second straight year. Heupel guided the Sooners to the 2000 national championship after a victory in the Orange Bowl. He was also the 2000 Heisman Trophy runner-up and a 2000 consensus first-team All-American. 

It was announced in January that Heupel would become the Volunteer's head football coach after Jeremey Pruitt was fired following an investigation into potential recruiting violations in the Volunteer football program. 

Credit: UT Athletics

Heupel has already had a successful coaching career. He led for three years as head coach for the University of Central Florida Knights football team and is leaving Florida with a winning record of 28-8.

A two-time unanimous first-team All-American, this is Berry's first ballot debut. He still holds two SEC records: career interception return yards (494 yards) and single-season return yards (265 yards in 2008). 

He was also the 2008 SEC Defensive player of the Year and won the 2009 Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the U.S.

Berry was just as impressive during his time in the NFL. He acquired five Pro Bowl honors, three first-team All-Pro laurels and a selection to the NFL 2010's All-Decade Team.

Gault led Tennessee to three bowl games and set six conference punt and kickoff return records. Gault is also a 1982 first-team All-American and tied the NCAA record for most kickoff return touchdowns in a single season. 

Seivers was a two-time consensus first-team All-American in 1975 and 1976. In 1975, he became the first Vol to pass 800 receiving yards in a single season. 

Nominees into the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class are expected to be announced in early 2022. The class will officially be inducted during the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, 2022.