MENU

Colin Kaepernick and the other first-year eligible Nevada Hall of Fame nominees

Nevada
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Dontay Moch, left, are first-year nominees for the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Nevada athletic department on Tuesday sent out its annual nomination requests for its 2020 Wolf Pack Hall of Fame class. "Despite the postponement of the fall athletics season, the Hall of Fame Committee is accepting nominations and will be meeting later this month," the Wolf Pack said in a news release. Former athletes must wait 10 years to become eligible to be inducted while coaches have a five-year waiting period following the end of their Wolf Pack careers. Teams may be considered 10 years after winning a championship. With that as our background, here are the top first-year eligibles for this year's Nevada Hall of Fame, a list of 13 players and one team.

* Colin Kaepernick, football: The most obvious first-year nominee is Kaepernick, who finished eighth in the 2010 Heisman Trophy vote after leading Nevada to a 13-1 season and No. 11 ranking in 2010. Kaepernick's credentials are unassailable, including being the only college football player with 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in his career. He's the best football player in Nevada's modern era and had a strong NFL career, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl, before being blackballed from the league after kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and systemic racism during the 2016 season. He's arguably the top athlete in Wolf Pack history and deserving of going in on the first ballot.

* Vai Taua, football: Taua is second in school history in rushing (first in the Wolf Pack's FBS era) and was a key part of those Kaepernick years. Playing in the same seasons as Kaepernick, Taua rushed for 4,588 yards, 6.5 yards per carry and scored 53 touchdowns with the Wolf Pack (45 rushing, eight receiving). Taua had three seasons of at least 1,300 yards rushing and was a three-time All-WAC first-team honoree who was a third-team AP All-American in 2010. Taua is currently in his second season as Nevada's running backs coach.

* Dontay Moch, football: One of the best defensive players in program history, Moch was a menace off the edge as a speedy defensive end who wreaked havoc in the backfield. Moch had 189 tackles, 62.5 tackles for loss, 30 sacks and nine forced fumbles in his Wolf Pack career, ranking second in program history in sacks and first in tackles for loss, which also are a WAC record. He's second in WAC history in sacks. Moch, the 2009 WAC defensive player of the year, was a third-round pick by the Bengals and played three injury-plagued seasons in the NFL.

* Virgil Green, football: A two-time All-WAC pick at Nevada, Green was an elite run-blocking tight end who totaled 72 catches for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns in the passing game. He was a key to the Wolf Pack's historic 2010 season and his impact in the run game was always underrated. Green was a seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft and is entering his 10th season in the league. He played in two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, winning a ring in Super Bowl 50. He's spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.

* 2010 football team: Five teams have been inducted into the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame, but no team is more deserving of the honor than the 2010 football team that is the best in program history (and maybe school history). The team went 13-1 overall, 7-1 in the WAC, beat No. 3 Boise State in the "Blue Friday" game and finished the season ranked 11th in the nation.

* Brock Stassi, baseball: Brock's father, Jim, was inducted into the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame in 2005. If Brock ever gets the honor, the Stassis would be the third father-son duo to be so honored, joining the Keshmiri and Powers families (the Puzeys also are in as a father-daughter duo). Brock Stassi was a two-way standout for Nevada and was the 2010 WAC pitcher of the year but made it to the big leagues as a hitter. Stassi also was a two-time All-WAC hitter. The fact he made it to the big leagues (he played 51 games in 2017) certainly helps his cause.

* Scott Smith, men's golf: The Fallon High alum is one of the top golfers in Pack history. He is fourth in school history in rounds played (141), third in rounds of par or better (55), third in birdies (416) and eagles (14) and was a three-time All-WAC selection, including two first teams. Smith had 11 top-10 finishes in his college career, including a second place at the WAC championships during his junior season. He led Nevada in scoring twice, and despite not having a long pro career warrants being the fourth men's golfer to make the Hall of Fame.

* Shavon Moore, basketball: Moore ranks ninth in school history in scoring (1,097), sixth in rebounding (734) and 10th in steals (143). The lanky forward was a two-time All-WAC honoree, including first-team honors during her senior season when she also was named the WAC defensive player of the year. Moore, who went on to earn her M.D. from Nevada, also played on some of the Wolf Pack's top teams, including her senior season squad that won a program-record 22 games and recorded the team's first postseason win in the WNIT.

* Tahnee Robinson, basketball: Robinson only played two seasons at Nevada, but she is still one of just 13 players in program history with 1,000-plus career points. A first-team All-WAC pick in both of her years with the Wolf Pack, Robinson averaged 22.1 points per game her senior season, the best of any player in program history other than Chris Starr. She was one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, which goes to the nation's best amateur athlete, and was the first Wolf Pack player to be selected in the WNBA draft, going in the third round in 2011.

* Marissa Hammond, track and field: We listed Hammond as a track and field athlete, but she also is the all-time leader in games played in Nevada women's basketball history with 136. That should show you how good of an athlete she was in two sports considering Hammond also was a second-team All-American in the javelin during her senior season (she ranks third in program history in javelin with a throw of 161 feet, 10 inches). Multi-sport inductees have been rare of late for the Wolf Pack, but Hammond certainly fits that bill.

* Cristen Drummond, soccer: Only two active programs at Nevada don't have a representative in the Wolf Pack's Hall of Fame. Those are men's tennis and women's soccer. While Drummond would not be my first pick from the women's soccer program to go into Nevada's Hall of Fame (that'd be Aivi Luik, Randee Robinson or Miranda Montejo), Drummond is also deserving in due time. She was a two-time All-WAC pick who ranks fifth in goals (15), eighth in assists (eight), fifth in points (38) and first in shots (154) in program history.

* Britton Murdock, softball: The former Reno High star was a four-year standout at Nevada, although she only made the All-WAC team one time, earning second-team honors during her freshman season. Murdock ranks in the top 10 in school history in runs scored, RBIs, doubles, homers, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total bases, walks, hit by pitches, steals, at-bats, games played and games started, so she's more than deserving of becoming a Wolf Pack Hall of Famer at some point even if she doesn't go in on the first ballot.

* Kylie Harrington, volleyball: The Honolulu native was a four-year standout for the Wolf Pack volleyball team, earning All-WAC honors three times, including one first-team pick. She is seventh in school history in points and sixth in kills with the only real demerit being the team's lack of success during her four seasons (Nevada went 52-65 with only one winning season).

* Lindsay Baldwin, volleyball: Baldwin is in the same boat as Harrington since their careers overlapped. She had great individual success as Nevada struggled to break even as a team. But Baldwin was a three-time All-WAC pick, including two first-team honors (and that doesn't including making the all-freshman team). She's third in program history in blocks and 10th in hitting percentage.

Offbeat News

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER