Beasley, Carlen on 2020 Hall of Fame Nominee List
Two former West Virginia football standouts are among the 81 FBS nominees for the College Football Hall of Fame. The balloting for the 2020 class closes on June 21, 2019. Announcement of the inductees will be made in January, 2020, with induction occurring in December of that year.
The WVU player on the ballot is defensive back Aaron Beasley, who played at WVU from 1992-95 He earned first team All-America honors in 1994 after leading the nation in interceptions with 10, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He was a two-time first team All-Big East selection who led WVU to an undefeated regular season and a 1993 Big East title.
A member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, Beasley had 19 career interceptions and was also a consensus All-American in 1995. The Pottstown, Pennsylvania native is the Mountaineer career leader in pass break ups with 38 — 14 more than the second highest total. He is also second on WVU’s career interceptions list, second in intercept return yardage (367) and tied for first in interception returns for touchdowns (three).
Former WVU head coach Jim Carlen (1966-69) , who also had stints at Texas Tech (1970-74) and South Carolina (1975-81), returns to the list for consideration. In his 16 seasons, he led teams to eight bowl appearances in an era when they numbered far fewer than they did today. He was the national coach of the year in 1973, a three-time Southwest Conference coach of the year, and mentored Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers at South Carolina.
Carlen was 25-13-3 in his four seasons at WVU.
His most-remembered achievement at West Virginia is the 1969 Peach Bowl game, for which he secretly installed a wishbone rushing attack. That plan proved perfectly suited for the rain-soaked, muddy conditions in which the game was played at Grant Field in Atlanta.
Attempting only two passes in the game, the Mountaineers pounded South Carolina 79 times for 356 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Eddie Williams had 35 carries for 208 yards, while Bob Gresham (16 carries, 98 yards) and Jim Braxton (20 carries, 60 yards) provided massive blocking support.
The 1969 team finished the season with a 10-1 record and a No. 17 national ranking after winning its first bowl game since 1949.