Former Gophers football star Greg Eslinger named to 2024 Hall of Fame ballot

It was a happy Gopher offensive line, including Greg Eslinger, center, that watched from their bench the final minute tick down. The Gopher offense dominated Indian in 3rd quarter action.  ((Photo by MARLIN LEVISON/Star Tribune via Getty Images) (Photo by MARLIN LEVISON/Star Tribune via Getty Images))

Greg Eslinger was an All-American and won multiple trophies as one of the best offensive linemen in the country during his days with the University of Minnesota football team.

Soon, the former Gophers’ standout might be able to call himself a Hall of Famer. The Gophers on Monday announced that Eslinger has been named to the 2024 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. He’s one of 78 players on the ballot for the 2024 class.

Eslinger won the Outland Trophy and the Rimington Trophy in 2005, two of the top awards in college football for offensive linemen. He was also an All-American in 2004 and 2005. He won the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2005, the only Gopher to ever win that award. He was also a First Team All-Big Ten pick three straight seasons.

The Gophers went 32-18 with Eslinger on the offensive line, and had a winning record during all four of his seasons at Minnesota. The Gophers played in four straight bowl games with Eslinger, who was also a captain in 2004 and 2005.

With Eslinger lined up at center, the Gophers ran for 3,759 rushing yards, averaged nearly 290 yards per game on the ground, scored 46 rushing touchdowns and averaged nearly 495 total yards per game.

Eslinger was a sixth round pick by the Denver Broncos and also spent time with the Browns and Texans from 2006-08.

To be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, players must have been a First Team All-American and not currently playing professional football. It must be at least 10 years since they’ve played college football, but also within the last 50 years.

The College Football Hall of Fame class will be announced in early 2024, with an induction ceremony in Las Vegas set for December.