Luis Zendejas, Hall of Famer (Photo: ASU)
On Tuesday, the National Football Foundation announced the 2012 Football Bowl Subdivision College Football Hall of Fame class. While the 14-player, three-coach group is undoubtedly a list of some of the greatest to ever play the game, the announcement was most notable for the omission of Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, due to an inane rule that prevents players from the same school being inducted in consecutive years.
Ultimately, there is no doubt that Frazier will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, where he will join six former Sun Devil players and three coaches.
Those players--Ron Pritchard, John Jefferson, Mike Haynes, Danny White, Randall McDaniel and Pat Tillman--and coaches Frank Kush, John Cooper and Dan Devine rightfully stand at the pinnacle of the ASU program, but there are many others who should receive consideration.
Three were on this year's ballot: linebacker Bob Breunig, defensive end Al Harris and head coach Darryl Rogers. Others like David Fulcher, Terrell Suggs and Woody Green are definitely worthy, but there is one overlooked name from an unlikely position that warrants serious consideration.
Currently, there is just a single placekicker in the Hall of Fame; Georgia's Kevin Butler. Coincidentally, it is a kicker whose career aligned exactly with Butler's--from 1981-1984--who should become the second enshrined.
Taking a look at the Arizona State record book; Luis Zendejas' name is everywhere.
Field goals made in a season - 28
Field goals made in a career - 81
PAT percentage - 99.3%
Consecutive games with a field goal - 15
Points in a career - 380.
It's that last number that really resonates. When he left ASU, those 380 points where the NCAA career record, 27 more than Butler. That number has since been surpassed, but the accomplishment of setting such a prestigious mark (one held by Tony Dorsett, at that) is the cornerstone of a Hall of Fame resume.
Not just one for stats, Zendejas has a shelf full of award and honors. He was an honorable mention All-American in 1981 and 1982, before securing the first-team consensus All-American spot in 1983. It should then be not surprising that he was a first-team All Pac-10 player in 1983, and a second-team selection in the other three seasons.
Yeah, kickers are perceived and treated differently than most other positions. It's the same in the NFL, where only three kickers (only one of which was strictly a kicker) have their busts in Canton. To be worthy of enshrinement as a kicker, you have to be the best of the absolute best, ankles and feet above your peers.
In the college game, Luis Zendejas was exactly that.
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Who should be ASU's next Hall of Famer?
Bob Breunig (7 votes)
Al Harris (5 votes)
Terrell Suggs (29 votes)
Woody Green (13 votes)
Luis Zendejas (8 votes)
Other (0 votes)
62 total votes