The Chicago Bears are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. Not only with their numerous championships, but also with the collection of great players that have donned the Navy and Orange through the years. No NFL team has more inductees in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame than the Bears do, and they have a number of players in the College Football Hall of Fame as well.
Last year, there were two former Bears inducted among the class of ten players in the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class, Brian Urlacher, defensive back from New Mexico, and Adrian Peterson, running back from Georgia Southern.
The ballot for the 2018 class was just announced and there are seven players named that spent at least some time in Chicago. Five as players, one as a player and coach, and one as a coach.
To see the entire list of potential Hall of Famers, you can click here.
Here are all the ex-Bears on the ballot.
- Mark Carrier, Southern California, Defensive Back - Two-time First Team All-American (1988-89) – unanimous in 1989…1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner…Two-time First Team All-Conference selection…Led the Pac-10 in interceptions in 1989 with seven.
Carrier was the 6th overall pick of the Bears in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played seven years in Chicago making three Pro Bowls.
- Matt Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh, Quarterback - 1977 First Team All-American who led the Panthers to a 1976 national title…Led Pitt to three consecutive bowl wins, earning MVP honors in the 1977 Sugar and 1977 Gator bowls…Finished Pitt career ranked second all-time (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,916 career yards of total offense.
Cavanaugh was the Bears offensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998, and he was their quarterback coach in 2013 and 2014.
- Dan Hampton, Arkansas, Defensive Tackle - 1978 First Team All-American and two-time All-SWC selection…Named 1978 Houston Post Outstanding Player of the Year in the SWC, recording 18 TFL during his senior campaign…Helped Hogs beat No. 19 Georgia in 1976 Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Oklahoma in 1978 Orange Bowl.
Hampton played his entire 12 year career with the Bears after being the 4th overall pick of the 1979 NFL Draft. He’s a four time Pro Bowler, and a member of the 2002 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
- Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh, Running Back - 1987 consensus First Team All-American who led the nation in rushing his final season and finished fifth in Heisman voting…Left Pitt as the second-leading rusher in school history (behind only Tony Dorsett) with 3,086 career rushing yards…Rushed for at least 100 yards in every game of 1987 season.
Craig “Iron Head” Heyward only spent one (1993) of his eleven years as a pro in Chicago.
- Dana Howard, Illinois, Linebacker - Two-time First Team All-American, earning unanimous honors as a senior…1994 Butkus Award winner and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year…School’s all-time leading tackler (595) who led team in tackles each year of career.
Howard, who played his high school ball at East St. Louis High School, only spent three games with the Bears in the 1996 season before being placed on injured reserve.
- Cade McNown, UCLA, Quarterback - 1998 Consensus First Team All-American and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award recipient…1998 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year who led UCLA to consecutive Pac-10 titles in 1997 (shared) and 1998…Holds numerous school records.
Bears’ fans only remember McNown in a negative context, but he was the 12th overall selection of the 1999 NFL Draft. He started 15 of 25 games from 1999-2000.
- Ron Rivera, California, Linebacker - 1983 consensus First Team All-American…Lombardi Award finalist in 1983 and named East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player…Selected as Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1983…Led team in tackles from 1981-83.
Rivera was a 2nd round pick of the Bears in the 1984 NFL Draft and he played his entire nine year career in Chicago. He was also their defensive quality control coach in 1997 and 1998, and their defensive coordinator from 2004-2006.