Urban Meyer, current OSU assistant and 6 former Bengals on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

The 2025 College Football Hall of Fame ballot includes a current Ohio State assistant coach, a former Ohio State head coach and six players who went on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals.

A pair of former Ohio State assistants who led national championship teams are also on the ballot (Nick Saban and Larry Coker), but Urban Meyer headlines the group.

Meyer won three national championships, including leading Ohio State to the top of the mountain in 2014, during a 17-year career as a head coach that included stops at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.

Meyer, whose career winning percentage of 85.4% is the third-highest in FBS history, also led the Gators to two national championships, including a title game rout of Ohio State at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

He went 83-9 at Ohio State, including a 7-0 mark against Michigan, and won three Big Ten championships in seven years. Meyer retired at the conclusion of the 2018 season with a 187-82 overall record at the college level.

Saban was Ohio State’s secondary coach in 1980 and ‘81, but he was let go after the Buckeyes allowed 273.2 yards per game through the air the latter season, still a school record for a full season.

However, Saban recovered to win seven national championships, including six at Alabama. He retired in January regarded as perhaps the best coach in the history of the college game.

Coker was an assistant coach at Ohio State in 1993 and ‘94, but he is best known for leading Miami (Fla.) to the 2001 national title. He was also the coach of the Hurricanes when Ohio State upset them a year later in the Fiesta Bowl to earn the Buckeyes’ first national championship in more than three decades.

Also on the ballot is James Laurinaitis, who is entering his first season as the full-time linebackers coach at his alma mater. Laurinaitis was a three-time All-American during his playing days (2005-08) and won the Butkus Award in 2007 as the nation’s best linebacker.

In addition, six men who played for the Cincinnati Bengals are on the 2025 ballot: Running backs Ki-Jana Carter (Penn State) and Garrison Hearst (Georgia), defensive lineman Justin Smith (Missouri), linebacker Takeo Spikes (Auburn), receiver Peter Warrick (Florida State) and cornerback Ashley Ambrose (Mississippi Valley State).

Carter was a unanimous All-American for the Nittany Lions in 1994 while Hearst won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back at Georgia in 1992.

Smith was an All-American in 2000 while Spikes took home that honor in 1997.

Warrick was a two-time All-American for the Seminoles (1998 and ‘99) and was the team’s Most Valuable Player in their 2000 national championship season.

Ambrose was a standout defensive player and return specialist, making the All-SWAC and first-team All-America team in 1991.

A player must have been a first-team All-American to be eligible for the CFB Hall of Fame.

Members of the National Football Foundation can vote for 2025 inductees, but the next class will be chosen by the Honors Court, a group chaired by former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin.

Their selections will be announced early next year.

Twenty-eight Ohio State players have been chosen for the CFB HOF, including 2024 inductee Chris Ward, an offensive lineman from Dayton.

Six Ohio State coaches are also enshrined, including Clifton native Woody Hayes.

About the Author