Deer Park High and Stony Brook product Chuck Downey was recently named to the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame ballot by the National Football Foundation.
Downey is listed under the Division III nominees from his days at Stony Brook, which formerly competed in Division III before it’s quick rise to the NCAA Subdivision level in recent years.
Downey, a safety in college, was a First Team All-America selection in 1987. At the time, he was the first player in Division III history to reach the 1,000-yard mark on punt and kickoff returns in a career.
He recorded 239 tackles, 13 interceptions and currently holds 12 NCAA Division III records and 23 school records, according to the National Football Foundation’s write up on all Hall of Fame nominees.
After his senior year in which he was named ECAC Division III Player of the Year, he signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He followed in the family business and is a Battalion Chief with the FDNY. His father Ray, also an FDNY Battalion Chief, died heroically in the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.99 million people have played college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell, in a statement “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names.”
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in May from Irving, Texas, and they will be inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9, 2014 at the landmark Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, according to a release.