The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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Three Eastern alumni on College Football HOF ballot

A football laying on the turf of O’Brien Field (Sia DeyKoontz)

The National Football Foundation (NFF) and the College Football Hall of Fame have announced the 2025 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The ballot consists of 178 players, three of which are Eastern alumni. 

Over 12,000 NFF members will vote on the ballot from May 30 to July 1. The announcement of the 2025 College Hall of Fame class will come early next year, according to the NFF. 

The former Panthers listed are offensive lineman Ted Peterson (class of 1977), as well as defensive ends Pete Catan (1980) and John Jurkovich (1990). 

Ted Peterson was an All-American center for Eastern in 1976. In 1977, he was drafted by a defending Superbowl champion Pittsburg Steelers team, 93rd overall (fourth round). Peterson would stay with the Steelers for seven years, playing as a back-up tackle, until he was released following the 1983 season. 

Peterson had stints with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts in the 1984 season, starting four games for the latter. 

He would rejoin the Steelers in 1987, following three years of professional football absence. He started two games for Pittsburgh in 1987. Peterson retired after the 1987 season with two Superbowl rings from his early days in Pittsburgh. 

Pete Catan was a two time All-American for the Panthers. The 6-2 defensive end still holds the school record for sacks in a season (21). Catan started his professional career in the Canadian Football League (CFL), playing for the Winnepeg Blue Bombers from 1981-1983. 

He returned stateside to play for the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. Catan would play for two years in Texas, recording 27 quarterback sacks. 

Catan ended his career back in the CFL, playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the 1987 season. 

John Jurkovich was a two time All-American for the Panthers. The Calumet City native was a 301-pound defensive end for Eastern. He would switch to nose tackle when he was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins following the 1990 NFL draft. 

Jurkovich is mostly recognized for his four-year escapade as a Green Bay Packer (1991-1995). He would start 53 out of 64 games for the Packers, totaling 7.5 sacks and 144 tackles. 

Jurkovich played three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars after his time in Green Bay. He would start 33 of 35 games, recording 48 tackles. Jurkovich would finish his career as a Cleveland Brown in the 1999 season. 

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