The following 25 individuals were selected as semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009. The group was trimmed from a list of 133 preliminary nominees announced in October. From here, the Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors will reduce this list to 15 finalists who will join the two senior nominees – Bob Hayes and Claude Humprhey – for consideration during the annual selection meeting in Tampa, Florida on January 31, 2009.
Related Link: The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Process
Here are some career highlights on the 25 semifinalists.
Cris Carter, WR (Ohio State)
1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles; 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings; 2002 Miami Dolphins
The NFL’s second all-time leading receiver with 1,101 catches. Three times he led the NFL in touchdown catches and amassed 130 career TD receptions.
Roger Craig, RB (Nebraska)
1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers; 1991 Los Angeles Raiders; 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
A multi-purpose back who rushed for 8,189 yards and 56 touchdowns plus caught 566 passes for 4,911 yards and 17 TDs.
Terrell Davis, RB (Long Beach State; Georgia)
1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Led the AFC in rushing three straight seasons with 1,500+ yards (1996-98). Became the fourth player in history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.
Dermontti Dawson, C (Kentucky)
1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Named first-team All-Pro six straight seasons, 1993-98, and selected to seven Pro Bowls. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Richard Dent, DE (Tennessee State)
1983-93, 1995 Chicago Bears; 1994 San Francisco 49ers; 1996 Indianapolis Colts; 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
The MVP of Super Bowl XX, he was named to four Pro Bowls. He recorded 137.5 career sacks that included 10 or more sacks in five straight seasons, 1984-88.
Chris Doleman, DE/LB (Pittsburgh)
1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings; 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons; 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
An eight-time Pro Bowler, he recorded 151 career sacks and eight interceptions. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s as a defensive end.
Kevin Greene, LB/DE (Auburn)
1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams; 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers; 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers; 1997 San Francisco 49ers
A five-time Pro Bowler, he played on division championship teams with each of the four teams he played for during his NFL career. Recorded 160 career sacks.
Russ Grimm, G (Pittsburgh)
1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Named All-Pro four times and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s, he played in five conference championship games and four Super Bowls.
Ray Guy, Punter (Southern Mississippi)
1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
The first punter ever drafted in the first round, he averaged 40 yards per punt in all but one season. Named All-Pro six times and selected to seven Pro Bowls.
Charles Haley, DE/LB (James Madison)
1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers; 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
He played on 10 divisional and five Super Bowl championship teams during his 12 NFL seasons. A five-time Pro Bowler, he recorded 100.5 career sacks.
Lester Hayes, CB (Texas A&M)
1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
A five-time Pro Bowler who played on two Super Bowl championship teams, he picked off 39 passes for 572 yards and 4 TDs. He led the NFL in 1980 with a career-high 13 interceptions.
Cortez Kennedy, DT (Northwest Mississippi Community College; Miami – FL)
1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, he was voted to eight Pro Bowls. Also named first- or second-team All-Pro five times.
Bob Kuechenberg, G (Notre Dame)
1970-84 Miami Dolphins (injured ’84)
A six-time Pro Bowl selection, he was named All-Pro twice and All-AFC three times including when he earned all-conference honors at guard and tackle in the same season (1978).
Randall McDaniel, G (Arizona State)
1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings; 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Named first-team All-Pro nine straight years, 1990-98 and elected to 12 Pro Bowls. He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Art Modell, Owner
Won two NFL championships as the owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. He also negotiated lucrative TV deals for the NFL from 1962-1993.
John Randle, DT (Trinity Valley Community College; Texas A&M-Kingsville)
1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings; 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
A seven-time Pro Bowler, he was selected first-team All-Pro six straight times. Also, named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Andre Reed, WR (Kutztown)
1985-1999 Buffalo Bills; 2000 Washington Redskins
Noted for his YAC (yards after catch), he caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Also had 500 yards rushing and one TD. Named to seven Pro Bowls.
Shannon Sharpe, TE (Savannah State)
1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos; 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Once held the record for catches, yards and TDs by a tight end with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 TDs. Named All-Pro four times and elected to eight Pro Bowls.
Bruce Smith, DE (Virginia Tech)
1985-1999 Buffalo Bills; 2000-03 Washington Redskins
The NFL’s all-time sack leader, he amassed 200 sacks in his career. Named first-team All-Pro nine times and selected to 11 Pro Bowls.
Ken Stabler, QB (Alabama)
1970-79 Oakland Raiders; 1980-81 Houston Oilers; 1982-84 New Orleans Saints
Guided Raiders to six division titles in seven-year span that included Super Bowl XI victory. He passed for nearly 28,000 yards and threw 194 touchdowns.
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner (Georgetown, New York University)
1989-2006 National Football League
Served as NFL commissioner for 17 years. He presided over expansion from 28 to 32 teams, long-term labor agreement and the largest TV deals in history.
Steve Tasker, ST/WR (Dodge City Community College; Northwestern)
1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Earned seven Pro Bowl elections as a special teams player. He played on six divisional title teams and in four Super Bowls.
Derrick Thomas, LB (Alabama)
1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, he had more sacks in the 1990s than any other player. In all, he recorded 126.5 career sacks including an NFL record seven in one game.
Ralph Wilson, Owner (Virginia, Michigan)
1959-present Buffalo Bills
The franchise’s only owner. His teams have won 10 division, four AFC and two American Football League championships.
Rod Woodson, CB/S (Purdue)
1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers; 1997 San Francisco 49ers; 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens; 2002-03 Oakland Raiders
Ranks third all-time with 71 career interceptions. Named All-Pro six times, including once as kick returner. Voted to 11 Pro Bowls and selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.