Michael Payton will have to wait until next year.
The former Central Dauphin East quarterback who won the 1992 Walter Payton Award -- presented to the most outstanding offensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) -- while at Marshall, failed to earn enough votes to be enshrined in The National Football Foundation (NFF) College Football Hall of Fame.
The 2011 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class includes linebacker Dexter Coakley from Appalachian State (1993-96); linebacker Charles Haley of James Madison (1982-85); North Dakota State center Mike Favor (1985-88); and the late Mickey Kobrosky of Trinity (Conn.), who played from 1933-1936.
Payton was one of 38 players nominated in the Subdivision category and this was his first time on the ballot. Hall of Fame voters include athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
A three-time First Team All-American at Appalachian State, Coakley remains the only two-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award as the Football Championship Subdivision's top defender and the only player to be named the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year three times. Coakley becomes the first inductee in school history for Appalachian State. He later enjoyed a 10-year career with the Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams and also played in three Pro Bowls.
Favor, a two-time First Team All-America selection, helped drive North Dakota State to three Division II national championships. He becomes the third College Football Hall of Famer from North Dakota State. He started 51 games in four years and helped the Bison achieve a 44-6-1 overall record, enjoying two undefeated seasons in 1986 and '88. He also blocked for Harlon Hill Award winners, quarterbacks Jeff Bentrim and Chris Simdorn.
Haley remains the all-time leading tackler at James Madison. A First Team All-American in 1985, he is the first Duke to enter the College Football Hall of Fame and the school's first-ever NFL draft pick . He led JMU in tackles as a sophomore and a junior, as well. Haley is also the first player in NFL history to be a member of five Super Bowl championship teams.
Kobrosky is considered the greatest athlete to ever play at Trinity College. A selection of the Divisional Veterans Committee, Kobrosky -- a two-time First Team All-American -- becomes the first Bantam player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He earned 11 letters during his four years at Trinity; three in football and four each in basketball and baseball, respectively.
He also led the College All-Stars against the New York Giants in 1937, scoring the collegians' only touchdown in a 14-7 defeat. He joined the Giants for the 1937 season and played in seven games. Kobrosky, who was elected class president as a junior and a senior, later graduated from Brandeis University's medical school and served in the Medical Corps in Italy during World War II, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel. Kobrosky continued to practice for 45 years in New England after the war. He passed away on May 29, 2003, at age 88 in Longmeadow, Mass.
This year's class will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during the Enshrinement Festival, July 15-16, in South Bend, Indiana.
Two coaches will also be inducted: Dayton's Mike Kelly (1981-2007) and Bill Manlove, who coached at Widener (Pa.) (1969-91), Delaware Valley (Pa.) (1992-95), and La Salle (1997-2001).
Payton put up huge numbers while at Marshall. He was also the first-ever Payton winner to claim a FCS championship in the same year. He led the Herd to its first-ever national title, defeating Youngstown State, 31-28, in the 1992 championship game. That season, Payton threw for 3,610 yards and 31 touchdowns; also winning Southern Conference Player of the Year honors for the second straight season.
"We had a fantastic group of guys; we just came together and we jelled," recalls Payton of that championship season. "We had great coaches and we had a great defense."
He compiled 8,900 yards passing and 66 touchdowns during his career and still holds the FCS record for most yards passing in a half when he threw for 383 yards in the first half of a game versus VMI in 1991.
Some information used in this story was provided The National Football Foundation.