Pitt greats Matt Cavanaugh and Craig “Ironhead” Heyward are on the ballot for the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
The ballot, released Monday, contains 177 players and 38 coaches from all classifications of college football, with 76 players and five coaches coming from current FBS schools.
Both former players were on the ballot in 2019 and were not selected by the NFF members and living inductees, who vote on the award. The Class of 2020 will be announced in January, in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff.
Pitt has 19 players in the College Football Hall of Fame. The last Panthers player to be inducted was Ruben Brown in 2015. Pitt coaches Len Casanova, Clark Shaughnessy, Jock Sutherland and Pop Warner have also been immortalized.
Cavanaugh, 62, was the starting quarterback for Pitt’s undefeated national championship squad in 1976 and was MVP of the 1977 Sugar Bowl. He was a 1977 All-American and finished with 3,378 career passing yards.
He was a second round pick by the New England Patriots in 1978 and played in the NFL for 15 seasons. Since then, he’s become a notable offensive coach. He’s served at his alma mater twice, as tight ends coach from 1992 to 1993 and as offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Cavanaugh is currently the senior offensive assistant for the Washington Redskins.
Heyward was a powerful running back and fullback that racked up over 3,000 yards in three seasons with the Panthers from 1985 to 1987. In his junior season, he had 1,791 yards and 12 touchdowns while earning All-American status. His powerful running style made him a popular player and also a sought-after athlete at the next level.
He was drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints and had 4,301 yards and 30 touchdowns in his 11-year pro career. Heyward’s career was shortened by a tumor, the recurrence of which took his life at age 39 in 2006. Heyward’s son, Cameron, is a defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers.