FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – June 18, 2020 – The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot on Tuesday. Four former Minnesota football personalities were featured, including University of Minnesota Duluth coach Jim Malosky, Minnesota State University Moorhead coach Ross Fortier, St. John’s wide receiver Blake Elliott and Wayzata High School/Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis.
“We are very excited to see four Minnesota football figures getting recognized for their outstanding contributions to the football community,” said Todd Fultz, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. “Our state has the unique opportunity to help these players and coaches earn a special place in history.”
The ballot was emailed to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers across the nation. After votes are tallied, the NFF’s Honors Courts will help select the class. The official 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT will be announced in early 2021.
Fans can cast a ballot for the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame by becoming a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. The 2021 voting deadline is Tuesday, July 7. You can become a member by following this link: https://footballfoundation.secure.force.com/membership.
Below are complete bios of each Minnesota football personality on the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot:
Jim Malosky - University of Minnesota Duluth - Head Coach - 1958-97 - (255-125-13 overall record)
Jim Malosky led the University of Minnesota Duluth football program from 1958-97. When he retired, Malosky was the winningest coach in Division II history. During his 40-year coaching career, the Bulldogs won nine conference championships and produced 33 winning seasons. Malosky was named NSIC, MIAC and/or NAIA Coach of the Year 13 times. He also played quarterback for head coach Bernie Bierman at the University of Minnesota from 1947-1949.
Ross Fortier - Minnesota State University Moorhead - Head Coach - 1970-92 - (152-80-4 overall record)
Ross Fortier is the all-time winningest coach in Minnesota State University Moorhead football history. Over 23 seasons, he led the Dragons to seven postseason appearances and nine conference championships. His 1981 team went undefeated in the regular season and finished No. 1 in the final regular season poll. Fortier is also a member of the NAIA Football Coaches Hall of Fame, North Dakota State Athletic Hall of Fame and the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Blake Elliott - St. John’s University - Wide Receiver - 2000-03
Blake Elliott was a two-time First Team All-American wide receiver for the St. John’s football program. Elliott holds 29 school records and helped his team win the 2003 Division III National Championship game. The star wide receiver also won the Gagliardi Trophy in 2003.
Elliott finished his career second all-time across NCAA Divisions in catches (327) and second in NCAA Division III in touchdown receptions (56). He accumulated 369 receptions for 4,826 yards and 63 touchdowns. Elliott also added 744 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 109 carries.
James Laurinaitis - Wayzata High School (Minn.) and Ohio State - Linebacker - 2005-2008
James Laurinaitis, a Wayzata Minn. native, became an enforcer within the Ohio State defense. He finished his college career with 375 total tackles (24.5 for loss), 13 sacks, and nine interceptions.
Laurinaitis was a three-time First Team All-American and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. During his career, the Buckeyes appeared in a pair of National Championship games and won four Big Ten Conference titles. Laurinaitis led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons. He was named a 2007 Dick Butkus and 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner.
About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote amateur football’s ability to develop leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The Minnesota Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit www.nffmn.org, or Facebook (@MNFootballHonors) and Twitter (@NFFMN).
Todd Fultz, President
MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation
Daniel House, Director of Media Relations and Content
MN Chapter of the National Football Foundation