Illinois Fighting Illini defensive greats Simeon Rice, Dana Howard and Moe Gardner are on this year's ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.
The trio is among 24 players and coach Darryl Rogers from Big Ten schools on the list of 200 candidates up for election for induction into the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
Rice is Illinois' all-time leader in sacks (44.5) and tackles for loss (69) and holds the program's single-season records for sacks (16) and tackles for loss (23). The Mount Carmel High School product was twice named a first team All-American and was the third-overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft and played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.
Howard is the program's all-time leading tackler (595). His greatest performances were in 1991 when he recorded 20 and 16 tackles against Ohio State and Michigan, respectively. He led the team in tackles all four seasons and was twice named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was the first player in program history to win the Butkus Award in 1994. Howard played for the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears during a three-year NFL career.
Gardner ranks second behind Rice in program history in all-time tackles for loss with 57. He ranks in the top 10 in career sacks, single-season sacks and single-season tackles for loss. The 1990 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-American. He played six seasons for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.
Fifteen members of the Illini program have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. David Williams was the last member to be inducted in 2005.