Keith Byars, one of the top running backs to play at Ohio State, is entering the College Football Hall of Fame.


The National Football Foundation announced Wednesday that Byars was part of a 19-member 2020 class that will be inducted in December at a ceremony in New York.


He is the 26th former Ohio State player to be inducted; linebacker Tom Cousineau was the Buckeyes’ last inductee, in 2016.


Byars is best known for a junior season in 1984, when he led the nation in rushing with 1,764 yards and finished as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting behind winner Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie, who captured 71% of the vote.


Flutie had thrown his famed "Hail Mary" touchdown pass against Miami on Thanksgiving weekend before capturing college football’s most prestigious individual award.


The rushing effort from Byars at the time set a single-season Ohio State record and remains the fifth-best in the program’s history.


The all-purpose yards he also tallied that season (2,441) has yet to be eclipsed, and his 274 rushing yards in a comeback win over Illinois is tied for second on the school’s single-game record.


Byars finished with 3,200 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns following four seasons with the Buckeyes, leaving him ninth on the all-time rushing list, but his place would have likely been higher had he not missed most of his senior season in 1985 after breaking a bone in his foot in a preseason practice.


As a result, Byars did not step onto the field until the sixth game in mid-October and only rushed for 213 yards on 55 carries.


After he was drafted No. 10 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, he spent 13 seasons with four teams in the NFL, also playing fullback and tight end. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1993 while with the Miami Dolphins.


Besides Byars, 18 others were elected to the hall on Wednesday:



jkaufman@dispatch.com


@joeyrkaufman


Besides Byars, 18 others were elected to the hall on Wednesday:


Players


Lomas Brown, offensive tackle, Florida, 1981-84


Eric Crouch, quarterback, Nebraska, 1998-2001


Eric Dickerson, running back, Southern Methodist, 1979-82


Glenn Dorsey, defensive tackle, LSU, 2004-07


Jumbo Elliott, offensive tackle, Michigan, 1984-87


Jason Hanson, kicker, Washington State, 1988-91


E.J. Henderson, linebacker, Maryland, 1999-2002


E.J. Junior, defensive end, Alabama, 1977-80


Steve McNair, quarterback, Alcorn State, 1991-94


Cade McNown, quarterback, UCLA, 1995-98


Leslie O'Neal, defensive tackle, Oklahoma State, 1982-85


Anthony Poindexter, defensive back, Virginia, 1995-98


David Pollack, defensive end, Georgia, 2001-04


Bob Stein, defensive end, Minnesota, 1966-68


Michael Westbrook, wide receiver, Colorado, 1991-94


Elmo Wright, wide receiver, Houston, 1968-70


Coaches


Dick Sheridan, 121-52-5 (69.4%); Furman, 1978-85; North Carolina State, 1986-92


Andy Talley, 258-155-2 (62.4%); St. Lawrence, N.Y., 1979-83; Villanova, 1985-2016


Ohio State players in the College Football Hall of Fame


1951: Chic Harley, halfback


1954: Wes Fesler, end


1969: Les Horvath, quarterback


1971: Bill Willis, tackle


1973: Gaylord Stinchcomb, halfback


1974: Jim Parker, guard


1975: Gust Zarnas, guard


1976: Vic Janowicz, halfback


1977: Jim Daniel, tackle


1978: Gomer Jones, center


1979: Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, halfback


1984: Warren Amling, guard/tackle


1986: Archie Griffin, running back


1989: Aurealius Thomas, guard


1991: Jim Stillwagon, defensive tackle


1996: Bob Ferguson, fullback


1998: Randy Gradishar, linebacker


2001: John Hicks, offensive tackle


2004: Jack Tatum, defensive back


2005: Jim Houston, end


2007: Rex Kern, quarterback


2009: Chris Spielman, linebacker


2012: Eddie George, running back


2014: Orlando Pace, offensive tackle


2016: Tom Cousineau, linebacker


2020: Keith Byars, running back