Virginia Tech Great Jim Pyne On College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot For First Time

Jim Pyne was Virginia Tech’s first unanimous All-American in football. (Virginia Tech Athletics)

Jim Pyne, who was an All-America center for the Hokies from 1990-93, is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The 52-year-old Pyne was one of 77 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision to appear on the 2025 ballot put out by the National Football Foundation on Monday.

Voting for the Hall of Fame takes place this summer, with the official 2025 class announced early next year. Quarterback Michael Vick, a two-time first team All-American who guided the Hokies to the national championship game in 1999, is also on the ballot for the second straight year.

A key cog on those early Frank Beamer teams and part of the coach’s fourth signing class, Pyne became Virginia Tech’s first unanimous All-American in football, chosen to the first team by all five major selectors in 1993. 

“Usually you can tell if a guy has ability after about five plays. Jim’s was a three-play tape,” Beamer told Sally Jenkins in a 1993 Sports Illustrated profile of Pyne titled “Born to Block.”

The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder was an impact player from the moment he arrived in Blacksburg, starting 35 straight games and 41 of the 42 games he played at Tech. He allowed just one quarterback sack in more than 2,700 snaps and was a two-time All-Big East performer. In 1993 as a senior, Pyne was a finalist for the Lombardi and Outland awards and won the Dudley Award as Virginia’s Player of the Year. 

Though he preceded the Rimington Trophy, which is given annually to the nation’s top center, Pyne was widely considered the best center in college football his senior year.

Pyne’s No. 73 is one of four football numbers retired by Virginia Tech, along with Carroll Dale (84), Frank Loria (10) and Bruce Smith (78). Since 2002, the Hokies have retired jerseys but not numbers, keeping them in circulation.

A seventh-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, Pyne played seven seasons in the NFL for the Buccaneers, Lions, Browns (as the first overall pick in the 1999 expansion draft) and Eagles. 

Virginia Tech is affiliated with eight players and coaches who are in the Hall of Fame: Hunter Carpenter (inducted 1957), Andy Gustafson (1985), Dale (1987), Loria (1999), Jerry Claiborne (1999), Smith (2006) and Beamer (2018) and Corey Moore (2023).

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  1. There are so many amazing college football players but golly, what took so long for Pyne to be added to the ballot? I sure would like to read that 1993 SI Profile, “Born to Block”. What better title to describe Pyne? Go Hokies!

    1. Vick was only named to the ballot for the first time last year, and I think he’ll need some time on there for people to come around and vote for him after his dog-fighting ordeal.

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