Davis_Terrell_700

Road to Canton (via South Florida)

Davis_Terrell_700
10/26/2009

On the day before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida next February, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors will meet to hold its annual selection meeting to elect between four and seven individuals who will comprise the Class of 2010. The 44-person committee will debate the merits of 17 final candidates. Two of those finalists are this year’s senior nominees, former Detroit Lions defensive back Dick LeBeau and Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little.

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The other 15 finalists will be selected from the initial list of 131 preliminary modern-era nominees that was announced on September 19. The selection process calls for a reduction to 25 semifinalists in November before the finalists are determined in January.

Between now and Thanksgiving Weekend, Profootballhof.com will profile the groups of players who comprise this list of nominees for the 2010 class.


THIS WEEK:

Running Backs

NEXT WEEK: Offensive Linemen

PREVIOUS WEEKS:
Running Backs | First-Year Eligibles | QBs | Special teams, Coaches & Contributors

Fourteen of the 131 preliminary nominees for the Class of 2010 are running backs. Leading the way is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith who is eligible for the first time. As for the others, all but Eddie George, have been eligible for Canton prior to this year. Yet, none have been finalists and only two runners have ever advanced to the semifinalist cut down. Roger Craig was among the semifinalists last year as was former Denver Broncos RB Terrell Davis who has been a semifinalist in each of the past three years.

The road to Canton has been a long one for running backs over the past decade. Only three runners – Thurman Thomas (2007), Barry Sanders (2004) and Marcus Allen (2003) – have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the past 10 classes of enshrinees.

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In all, 25 modern-era running backs are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here’s a closer look at the entire list of RBs under consideration for 2010 and how they stack up against each other.

Ottis Anderson – 1979-1986 St. Louis Cardinals, 1986-1992 New York Giants

Larry Centers – 1990-98 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 1999-2000 Washington Redskins, 2001-02 Buffalo Bills, 2003 New England Patriots

Roger Craig – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings

Terrell Davis – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos

Eddie George – 1996-2003 Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys

Leroy Hoard – 1990-95 Cleveland Browns, 1996 Baltimore Ravens, 1996 Carolina Panthers, 1996-99 Minnesota Vikings

Eric Metcalf (also WR/PR/KR) – 1989-1994 Cleveland Browns, 1995-96 Atlanta Falcons, 1997 San Diego Chargers, 1998 Arizona Cardinals, 1999 Carolina Panthers, 2001 Washington Redskins, 2002 Green Bay Packers

Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR) – 1990-99 Washington Redskins, 2000-02 Philadelphia Eagles, 2003 New York Giants

Mike Pruitt – 1976-1984 Cleveland Browns, 1985 Buffalo Bills, 1985-86 Kansas City Chiefs

Gerald Riggs – 1982-88 Atlanta Falcons, 1989-1991 Washington Redskins

George Rogers – 1981-84 New Orleans Saints, 1985-87 Washington Redskins

Emmitt Smith – 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals

Herschel Walker – 1986-89, 1996-97 Dallas Cowboys, 1989-1991 Minnesota Vikings, 1992-94 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995 New York Giants

Ricky Watters – 1992-94 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles, 1998-2001 Seattle Seahawks

Running Back Nominees for 2010 Election
 
Player Yrs. No. Yds TD No. Yds TD No. Yds. TD No. Yds. TD TD PAT FG TOT
Ottis Anderson 14 2,562 10,273 81 376 3,062 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 86 0 0 516
Larry Centers 14 615 2,188 14 827 6,797 28 5 30 0 33 617 0 42 0 0 252
Roger Craig 11 1,991 8,189 56 566 4,911 17 0 0 0 3 43 0 73 0 0 438
Terrell Davis 7 1,655 7,607 60 169 1,280 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 64 0 0 390
Eddie George 9 2,865 10,441 68 268 2,227 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 78 0 0 474
Leroy Hoard 10 1,008 3,964 36 238 2,430 15 0 0 0 21 400 0 51 0 0 306
Eric Metcalf 13 630 2,392 12 541 5,572 31 351 3,453 10 280 5,813 2 55 0 0 330
Brian Mitchell 14 388 1,967 12 255 2,336 4 463 4,999 9 607 14,014 4 29 0 0 176
Mike Pruitt 11 1,844 7,378 51 270 1,860 5 0 0 0 12 237 0 56 0 0 336
Gerald Riggs 10 1,989 8,188 69 201 1,516 0 0 0 0 17 330 0 69 0 0 414
George Rogers 7 1,692 7,176 54 55 368 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 54 0 0 324
Emmitt Smith 15 4,409 18,355 164 515 3,224 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 175 0 0 1,052
Herschel Walker 12 1,954 8,225 61 512 4,859 21 0 0 0 215 5,084 2 84 0 0 504
Ricky Watters 10 2,622 10,643 78 467 4,248 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 91 0 0 548

 

 
Player Yrs. All Pro All Conf Pro Bowls Div. Conf League
Ottis Anderson 14 1 1 2 3 2 2
Larry Centers 14 1 0 3 2 1 1
Roger Craig 11 1 1 4 8 3 3
Terrell Davis 7 3 3 3 2 2 2
Eddie George 9 1 2 4 2 1 0
Leroy Hoard 10 0 0 1 2 0 0
Eric Metcalf 13 3^ 1^ 3^ 1 0 0
Brian Mitchell 14 2^ 2^ 1^ 4 1 1
Mike Pruitt 11 0 1 2 1 0 0
Gerald Riggs 10 1 1 3 1 1 1
George Rogers 7 1 1 2 1 1 1
Emmitt Smith 15 4 5 8 6 3 3
Herschel Walker 12 0 2 2 2 0 0
Ricky Watters 10 0 0 5 4 1 1
^All honors earned as kick returner

 

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