Falcons release Gwinnett's Elam

Brookwood grad Jason Elam (1) watches a kick during a 2009 Atlanta Falcons game.

Brookwood grad Jason Elam was among the names announced Tuesday on the 2021 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

The National Football Foundation and the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame unveiled 78 players and seven coaches as candidates from the Football Bowl Subdivision, as well as 99 players and 33 coaches from the division ranks.

"It's an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.4 million people have played college football and only 1,027 players have been inducted," said NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Hall's requirement of being a first-team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today's elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class presented by ETT early next year."

Elam was a 1992 first-team All-American at Hawaii after finishing his NCAA career ranked second all-time in field goals (79) and scoring (395). He was the 1992 Western Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year and was a three-time first-team All-WAC selection. He also is Hawaii's all-time leader in career field goal percentage (79.0 percent).

After college, Elam a third-round choice of the Denver Broncos in the 1993 NFL Draft. He played 15 NFL seasons — the first 13 with the Broncos and his final two with the hometown Atlanta Falcons. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, won two Super Bowl rings with the Broncos and tied the NFL record for longest field goal with a 63-yarder in 1998.

Gwinnett has boasted two College Football Hall of Fame inductees in recent years, Parkview grad Matt Stinchcomb in 2018 and Shiloh grad David Pollack in 2020. Both Stinchcomb and Pollack played for the Georgia Bulldogs.

This year’s ballot features another Bulldog, longtime NFL cornerback Champ Bailey. Running back Craig Heyward (Pittsburgh), whose sons Cameron and Connor played locally at Peachtree Ridge, also is on the list.

Others of local interest on the ballot included longtime area resident and former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen (Michigan State), Dunwoody native Harris Barton (North Carolina), former Falcons defensive lineman Moe Gardner (Illinois), former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (California) and former Georgia Tech linebacker Lucius Sanford.

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Sports Editor for the Gwinnett Daily Post and Regional Sports Director for Southern Community Newspapers, Inc. A Gwinnett native documenting Gwinnett County sports with the GDP since 1997.

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