Ricky Williams among the 17 chosen for CFB Hall of Fame

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DALLAS -- Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, former Raiders All-Pro offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy, ex-Oklahoma star Brian Bosworth, former Miami DolphinsPro Bowler Zach Thomas, and former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel headlined the 15 players and two coaches unveiled as the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame class.

Williams played his college ball at Texas, while Kennedy starred at Washington and Thomas played at Texas Tech.

"To be included in a fraternity that shows the players -- all the years they played and all the passion -- it honestly took my breath away. I'm speechless," Bosworth said at a Friday press conference. "It's a dream come true for me because I'm an Oklahoma boy who got to go live a dream and play at a university that has such a great tradition and great players."

All 17 inductees of this year's class were announced on Friday not far from the home of the Dallas Cowboys and ahead of the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.

Also selected were current Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, ex-Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts, former Cowboys Pro-Bowl linebacker Bob Breunig (Arizona State), Millsaps great Sean Brewer, veteran Buffalo Bills guard Ruben Brown (Pitt), NFL record-holding receiver Wes Chandler (Florida), former Notre Dame split end Thom Gatewood, Michigan State tailback Clinton Jones, Michigan running back Rob Lytle, Marshall great Michael Payton and the 1978 NFL Draft's No. 2 overall pick, Art Still (Kentucky).

Former Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron was also inducted into this year's class based on his career as a record-setting running back at Yale.

"It's a great, great feeling of accomplishment," Breunig, a longtime Dallas Cowboys linebacker under coach Tom Landry, said. "These are some great linebackers and it's such a privilege to be a part of this class and that group."

Among those that were on the ballot for this year's Hall of Fame class but failed to earn the requisite votes were former No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch, Heisman Trophy winners Eric Crouch and Rashaan Salaam, dual-threat star QB Randall Cunningham, NFL single-season rushing record-holder Eric Dickerson, Super Bowl winner Keyshawn Johnson, perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis and NFL Media analyst Warren Sapp, among others.

In order to be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, players must have been named a first-team All-American from a recognized organization, been out of college football for at least 10 years and cannot be a current NFL player. Coaches must have coached at least 100 games with a winning percentage of at least 60 percent. A number of other, more specific criteria is also listed by the National Football Foundation, which is in charge of the Hall of Fame, in determining each year's ballot.

The 2015 class will be inducted in New York City on Dec. 8, 2015. The College Football Hall of Fame recently moved to Atlanta, with this year's group becoming just the second to be welcomed in after the doors were opened at the new, historic home of college football history.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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