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Nick Saban, Steve Slaton Highlight WVU, WV Ties on 2025 College Football HOF Ballot

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Steve Slaton at WVU
Image credit to WVU Athletics

On Monday, the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame revealed those on the ballot for next year’s class in 2025, with WVU and the state of West Virginia well represented on the list.

Highlighting the list, not just among those with Mountaineer ties but even among everyone who made the cut overall, is Steve Slaton. Joining Slaton, are WVU greats defensive back Aaron Beasley and coach Jim Carlen. Fairmont, W.Va. native and coaching legend Nick Saban is also on the ballot, mostly as a formality with his induction assured.

Slaton, widely regarded as the greatest running back in WVU history, totaled 3,923 rushing yards, averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored 50 touchdowns on the ground in his three years in Morgantown. He also made 65 receptions for 805 yards. Slaton earned consensus All-American status in 2006 and was a key part of some of the most successful teams in program history.

Beasley, a 1995 consensus All-American, played defensive back in Morgantown from 1992-95. In four seasons he totaled 19 interceptions, three touchdowns and 38 pass breakups. Beasley’s best season came in 1994, when he intercepted 10 passes and broke up 15 more.

In those four years under Don Nehlen, Beasley was also a two-time All-Big East player. The Mountaineers went 28-17-2, including an 11-1 record in 1993. WVU made the Sugar Bowl in 1993 and the Carquest Bowl in 1994. Beasley was inducted into the WVU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Aaron Beasley

Beasley went on to be selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and spent nine seasons in the league. He intercepted 24 passes between years with the Jaguars, Jets and Falcons.

Carlen was the head coach of the Mountaineers from 1966-1969. Playing in the Southern Conference his first two years, West Virginia went 8-9-3 overall, but was 6-0-1 in conference play, winning the Southern Conference championship in 1967. The Mountaineers went independent in 1968, going 7-3 that season and 10-1 in 1969, Carlen’s final season. That 1969 season also included a Peach Bowl victory over South Carolina. Overall, WVU went 25-13-3 under Carlen.

Carlen would go on to coach Texas Tech (1970-74) and South Carolina (1975-81), amassing a 107-69-6 overall coaching record. Carlen was inducted into the Texas Tech Athletics Hall of Honor in 2008 and passed away in 2012 at the age of 79.

Even though his actual impact to WVU was minimal compared to the others in this group, Saban is the one who had the greatest impact on college football overall.

Saban capped off his career after the 2024 season with a 292-71-1 college record, seven National Championships, 11 SEC titles and multiple Coach of the Year honors.

Saban arrived in Alabama in 2007 after a failed stint in the NFL as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He then embarked on an illustrious run that would elevate his entire resume and stature to an epic level, making him the most accomplished college football coach ever. Saban won six of his seven National Championships at Alabama.

Nick Saban

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban coaches against Michigan at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Monday, Jan 1, 2024.

The 72-year-old also produced 44 NFL draft picks during his tenure as leader of the Crimson Tide. Before his success at Alabama, Saban won a National Championship at LSU, led Michigan State from 1995 to 1999 and served on Bill Belichick’s staff with the Cleveland Browns.

Aside from being from West Virginia and having coached at WVU as defensive backs coach (1978-79), the other West Virginia angle to Saban’s retirement connects to WVU’s future schedule. The Mountaineers are slated to face Alabama in Morgantown in 2026 and then in Tuscaloosa in 2027. Those games will now happen without a native son on the opposing sideline.

Per the National Football Foundation: The ballot was emailed today to the more than 12,000 members of the NFF (including WVSN’s Mike Asti) and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will deliberate and select the class.

West Virginia native, Marshall product and football legend Randy Moss headlined the 2024 class.

WV Native, Marshall Great Randy Moss Learns of CFB HOF Induction on Live TV

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