Randy Moss and Alex Smith learn of their College Football Hall of Fame induction on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. Randy Moss and Alex Smith learn of their College Football Hall of Fame induction on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. (The Comeback on Twitter.)

Finding out you’re going to a Hall of Fame can often be pretty special. And a couple of ESPN NFL analysts found out live on the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown this week that they’ve been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. That would be Randy Moss and Alex Smith, with host Samantha Ponder starting this with that news for Moss and fellow analyst Tedy Bruschi presenting him the football with the news, and then Ponder talking about Smith’s own college career and letting him know he’d been selected as well (ahead of the full list reveal Monday before the national championship game):

“We have a little announcement of our own,” Ponder says. “It is my absolute honor to let our friend Randy Eugene Moss know he is this year’s inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame. One of the most legendary players ever, of course, at Marshall University, a 1997 Heisman finalist.”

Moss says “No way! Let’s go!” Then “Man, I appreciate that. Man, I want to send a shoutout out to first of all, my wife and my kids, but then to all my teammates at Marshall, my coach, Coach [Bob] Preutt, Marshall University, Go Herd, man. Stand up!”

Ponder then says “I love this for you, but I just couldn’t help but think about Alex, because I watched Alex in college, and this guy had one of the most legendary college careers ever. The man went 21-1 for the Utes, and apparently I’m not the only one feeling that way, because this guy, Alex Smith, is going into the College Football Hall of Fame! It’s a 2-for-1! Congratulations.”

Smith put up 5,203 passing yards and 47 touchdowns across three seasons at Utah, adding 1,072 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. In his final year in 2004, he threw for 2,952 yards and 32 touchdowns against four interceptions with a 67.5 percent completion mark and was a Heisman finalist. He still holds many Utes’ records, and is their second College Football Hall of Fame inductee (behind famed coach Ike Armstrong) and their first player selected.

Moss recorded 174 catches for 3,529 yards and 54 touchdowns across two years at Marshall. In 1996, at the FCS level, he caught 78 passes for 1,709 yards and a program-record 28 touchdowns as the Herd went 15-0 and won a national title. In 1997, their first season at the FBS level, he caught 90 passes for 1,647 yards and a FBS-record 26 touchdowns, and was named the Biletnikoff Award winner and a Heisman Trophy finalist (in a remarkable year for the Heisman, explored in a recent 30 for 30).

There are great reactions from Moss and Smith there, with Moss’ “Man, Marshall University, stand up! I’m in the Hall of Fame, man!” at the end particularly standing out. And while some of these on-air announcements haven’t actually been how the subjects involved found out, most have been, and it’s cool to see the emotion when these analysts find out this news. This one for Moss and Smith is the latest example of how this can work well when done right

[The Comeback on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.