CANTON, OHIO – Guard Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, cornerback Dick LeBeau, running back Floyd Little, defensive tackle John Randle, wide receiver Jerry Rice, and running back Emmitt Smith make up the Class of 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.
The seven-man class was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee who met today in South Florida. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists who had been determined earlier by the committee.
Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Stephen Perry speaks to the media during the Pro Football Hall of Fame press conference announcing the 2010 Class of Enshrinees.
Grimm was a steadying force of the Washington Redskins’ offensive line known as “The Hogs.” The standout guard earned All-NFL acclaim and Pro Bowl trips four consecutive seasons.
Jackson helped turn the Saints from perennial losers to a playoff contender and becomes the first long-time player from the team to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He was named first-team All-NFL four times in his career.
LeBeau, was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns but cut, joined the Lions shortly thereafter. He went on to enjoy a 14-year career that saw him intercept 62 passes. That total currently ranks third all-time among cornerbacks.
Little, the first 1,000-yard rusher in Denver Broncos history, was a versatile star who amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards on rushing, receiving, punt returns, and kickoff returns during his nine-season career.
Randle, a seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro pick, amassed 137.5 sacks during his career with the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, he played in 219 career games.
Rice played an amazing 20 seasons and owns virtually every major receiving record. In all, he caught 1,549 passes for 22,895 yards and scored a total of 208 touchdowns.
Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards and scored a record 164 rushing touchdowns. He won four NFL rushing titles and gained 1,000 yards in a record 11 straight seasons.
The 2010 class will increase to 260 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Enshrinement of the Class of 2010 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Enshrinement Ceremony will be televised live by both ESPN and the NFL Network.
The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game that kicks off the NFL’s preseason will be played on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. and broadcast live by NBC. Teams have not yet been announced.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is a 10-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class.
Held in Canton each year, the festival includes 19 special public events and culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and Hall of Fame Game. Two other major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, August 6), and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 8). It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2010 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket. At the GameDay Roundtable, the members of the Class of 2010 will be featured center stage to share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Individual enshrinement tickets and Festival Fan & Travel Packages are on sale now. Ticket information can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website at Profootballhof.com.
Also, for the first time fans were invited to vote this year for their choice for the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the VanHeusen Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan’s Choice.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation and JCPenney Company teamed to provide the first-ever dedicated forum for fans to debate, discuss and voice their choice by voting for the Hall of Fame Enshrinee Class of 2010. The robust forum also included stats on all candidates and opinions from football experts, Hall of Fame players and fans around the country. For more on the Fan’s Choice, visit www.fanschoice.com.
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2010
Guard … 6-3, 273 … Pittsburgh … 1981-1991 Washington Redskins … 11 seasons, 140 games … Selected in third round (69th player overall) in 1981 NFL Draft … Originally pegged to play center, moved to left guard as rookie … Immediate starter on line that earned nickname "The Hogs" … Teaming with tackle Joe Jacoby, formed perhaps most punishing side of an offensive line in football at the time … With Grimm’s speed and strength, Redskins rode success of dominating running attack to victory in Super Bowl XVII in which John Riggins rushed for then-record 166 yards … During playoff run that year, team averaged 152 yards rushing … Following 1983 season, Grimm was selected to first of four straight Pro Bowls … Also marked start of four consecutive years (1983-86) of All-Pro recognition … Also named All-NFC in each of those seasons … In 1987 moved to center and started five games before being sidelined until season finale with knee injury … Missed 11 games in 1988 with knee injury … Appeared in five NFC championship games and four Super Bowls including wins in Super Bowls XVII, XXII, XXVI … Elected to NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team … Born May 2, 1959 in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. | HOF BIO>>>
Linebacker … 6-2, 243 … Pittsburgh … 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers … 15 playing season, 227 games … Selected by Saints in 2nd round (51st player overall) in 1981 draft … One of key players that fueled New Orleans transition from perennial losers into contenders in late 1980s … Made immediate impact as rookie when he led team with franchise rookie record eight sacks and was leading tackler … In 1983 established himself as elite pass rusher recording 12 sacks … That year marked first of six double-digit sack totals in career … Also earned Jackson first of six trips to Pro Bowl … Named first-team All-Pro 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993 … In 1987, Saints first winning season, Jackson recorded 9.5 sacks, 74 tackles, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions … Saints captured their first-ever division title in 1991 and Jackson recorded 11.5 sacks, 59 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and three passes defensed … Team never finished below .500 during Jackson’s final seven years … Jackson finished NFL career with two seasons with 49ers who converted him to defensive end and pass rush specialist … Retired after 1995 season with 128 career sacks that does not include rookie total since sack did not become official statistic until 1982 … Also intercepted eight passes during career … Born March 20, 1958 in Pahokee, Florida. | HOF BIO>>>
Cornerback … 6-1, 185 … Ohio State … 1959-1972 Detroit Lions … 14 playing seasons, 185 games … Selected by Cleveland Browns in 5th round (58th overall) in 1959 draft … Cut by Browns during rookie training camp … Signed with Lions, earned place in starting lineup final six games of rookie year … Didn’t miss another game until late in 1971 season … Started 171 consecutive games, an NFL record for his position … In 1960, began to make mark by intercepting four passes, starting string of 12 straight seasons with three or more interceptions … In 1963, intercepted five passes which he returned for career-high 158 yards, including 70-yard TD return against Rams … It was one of three interceptions he returned for touchdowns in career … The following year, intercepted five passes and was voted to first of three consecutive Pro Bowls … Also earned All-NFL second-team accolades, an honor earned again in 1965, 1966, 1970 … Finest season came in 1970 when he recorded NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards … In all, recorded 62 picks for 762 yards … Ranked second among pure cornerbacks at retirement with 62 interceptions, third overall … Currently ranks third all-time among pure cornerbacks … Born on September 9, 1937 in London, Ohio. | HOF BIO>>>
Running Back … 5-10, 196 … Syracuse … 1967-1975 Denver Broncos … Nine playing seasons, 117 games … Selected by Denver in first round (6th player overall) of 1967 AFL-NFL Draft … Initially used mostly as return specialist . . . As rookie, led AFL in punt returns with 16.9 average on 16 returns … Scored only touchdown on a punt return that season in AFL, 72 yards against the Jets … Also returned career-high 35 kickoffs for 942 yards … In third year averaged league-high and career best 5.0 yards per carry rushing … In 1971, became Broncos’ first 1,000-yard rusher … Won NFL rushing title that year with 1,133 yards on 284 carries and 6 TDs … Receiving threat out of backfield, caught 25-plus passes in each of final five seasons … Had knack for finding end zone … During three-year stretch, 1971-1973 scored combined 32 TDs rushing and receiving … Named to two AFL All-Star Games, three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls … Named All-AFL/NFL twice, All-AFC first- or second-team four straight years … Amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards and 54 TDs … Gained 6,323 yards on 1,641 career carries, scored 43 TDs … Added 215 receptions for 2,418 yards, 9 TDs … Totaled 893 yards on 81 career punt returns, 2 TDs; returned 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards in his nine-season career … Born July 4, 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut. | HOF BIO>>>
Defensive Tackle … 6-1, 278 … Trinity Valley Community College (TX); Texas A&I … 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks … 14 playing seasons, 219 games … Little All-America pick as a senior at Texas A&I … Signed by Vikings as an undrafted free agent … Played in all 16 games as a rookie … Recorded 137.5 sacks during career . . Had eight consecutive seasons (1992-99) with 10-plus sacks and a ninth in 2001 … In 1997 had career best and league leading 15.5 sacks, and career high 71 tackles (39 solo) … Signed a free agent contract with Seahawks in 2001 and turned in one of most productive seasons in team history with 11 sacks, four forced fumbles and fumble recovery in end zone for a TD … Named first-team All-Pro/All-NFC six consecutive years (1993-98) and once All-AFC with Seahawks (2001) … Selected to play in seven Pro Bowls (1994-99, 2002) … Led Minnesota defensive line recording double digit sack totals in three of four years that Vikings won NFC Central Division titles and eight sacks in fourth … Born December 12, 1967 in Hearne, Texas. | HOF BIO>>>
Wide Receiver … 6-2, 200 … Mississippi Valley State … 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks … 20 playing seasons, 303 games … Selected by 49ers in first round (16th player overall) of 1985 draft … Averaged 18.9 yards per catch on 49 receptions for 927 yards and 3 TDs as rookie … In 1986 caught 86 passes for a league-leading 1,570 yards and led the NFL in touchdown catches with 15 … Marked first of 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons … Also recorded double-digit receiving touchdowns in nine of next 10 seasons … In 1987 set the NFL record for touchdown receptions in season with 22 … Four seasons with 100-plus catches … Led NFL in receiving yards six times including NFL record 1,848 yards in 1995 … Led NFL in touchdown receptions six times … Owns virtually every significant receiving mark including receptions (1,549); receiving yards (22,895); most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14); total touchdowns (208); combined net yards (23,546) … Holds multiple playoff and Super Bowl records … Played in eight conference championships and four Super Bowls … Earned three Super Bowl rings with 49ers and was named MVP in Super Bowl XXIII … Named first-team All-Pro 11 consecutive seasons and voted to 13 Pro Bowls … A member of NFL’s All-Decade Teams of 1980s and 1990s and NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team … Born October 13, 1962 in Starksville, Mississippi. | HOF BIO>>>
Running Back … 5-9, 207 … Florida … 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals … 15 playing seasons, 226 games … Selected by Dallas in first round (17th player overall) of 1990 draft … Rushed for 937 yards, 11 touchdowns to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors … Second season rushed for league-leading 1,563 yards … Won rushing crowns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 … Led NFL in rushing touchdowns three times and accumulated 277 pass receptions during that same five-season period … In 1995, recorded career highs for rushing yards (1,773), rushing touchdowns (25), and receptions (62) … Major contributor to Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX victories … Named first-team All-Pro 1992-95 … In 1993, named NFL’s MVP and MVP in Super Bowl XXVIII … After narrowly missing the 1,000-yard mark as rookie, embarked on a record run of 11 straight seasons with 1,000 yards rushing … Streak came to end in 2002 when he missed the 1,000-yard mark by 25 yards … On Oct. 27, 2002 in game vs. Seattle Seahawks, he supplanted Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time rushing leader … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s … Career totals of 18,355 yards and a 164 touchdowns rushing, 515 receptions for 3,224 yards and 11 touchdowns … Born May 15, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida. | HOF BIO>>>