Leslie O’Neal was one of the best defensive tackles to ever play for Oklahoma State, and now he may be able to add Hall of Famer to his list of awards and accolades.
The College Football Hall of Fame has released its ballot for the 2018 class, and O’Neal is on the list.
For those who don’t know, O’Neal played defensive tackle for Oklahoma State in the 80’s. While a Cowboy, he was a two-time First-Team All-American and earned unanimous honors in 1985. He was a three-time All-Big Eight selection and the 1984 Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year. He led the Pokes to three-straight bowl games from 1983 to 1985. When he left Oklahoma State, O’Neal was the school leader in career sacks (34), career TFLs (47), and single-season sacks (16).
Oh and he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
He was the eighth overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He spent 14 seasons in the league, playing with the Chargers (1986-1995), St. Louis Rams (1996-1997), and Kansas City Chiefs (1998-1999).
O’Neal was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1986, was a 6x Pro Bowler, a 3x Second-Team All-Pro, and has been inducted into the San Diego Chargers' Hall of Fame.
He finished his career with 132.5 sacks, which stands as the 13th most in league history.
Yeah, the guy was a beast.
Here are the qualifications for players to make the ballot:
"To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first-team all-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for (its) consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football.
"Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, depending on their school's geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago."
His pro career aside, what he did at Oklahoma State warrants his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Let’s hope he gets it.
Check out this video about Leslie’s career.
The 2018 Class will be announced on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta before the CFP National Championship game.
If O’Neal is inducted he will join fellow former Cowboys Bob Fenimore, Barry Sanders, and Thurman Thomas in the Hall.
Other prominent Big 12 names on the ballot this season include Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop and placekicker Martin Gramatica, Oklahoma DB Rickey Dixon, Texas Tech RB Byron Hanspard, and Texas Head Coach Mack Brown.
Other Oklahomans on the list are Cameron University DB Mark Cotney and Central Oklahoma OL John Fitzgerald and QB Randy Page.