Semifinalists for the Class of 2010

11/28/2009

CLIFF BRANCH
Wide Receiver
(Warton County [TX] Junior College; Colorado)
1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Drafted: 4th round (98th player overall) of 1972 NFL Draft by Oakland Raiders
Seasons: 14
Games: 182
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 4
Career Stats: 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns.
Notable: Branch ranked 14th all-time in career receptions when he retired from the NFL following the 1985 season. At the time only three active players, all who’ve been elected to the Hall of Fame, ranked higher than Branch.


TIM BROWN

Wide Receiver/Kick Returner
(Notre Dame)
1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Drafted: 1st round (6th overall) of 1988 NFL Draft by Los Angeles Raiders
Seasons: 17
Games: 255
All-Pro: 2
Pro Bowls: 9
Career Stats: 1,094 receptions for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns.
Notable: Brown had 80 or more receptions in nine seasons over a 10-year span. He also was lethal return man, his 19,682 all-purpose yards still ranks fifth all-time.


CRIS CARTER

Wide Receiver
(Ohio State)
1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles; 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings; 2002 Miami Dolphins
Drafted: 4th round of 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft by Philadelphia Eagles
Seasons: 16
Games: 234
All-Pro: 2
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 TDs
Notable: Retired as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver. Three times Carter led the NFL in touchdown catches.


DON CORYELL

Head Coach
(Washington)
1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals; 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Seasons: 14
Coach of the Year Awards: 1
Division Titles: 5
Career Record: 114 wins, 89 losses, 1 tie including playoffs
Notable: Under Coryell’s direction, the Chargers led the NFL in passing seven out of eight seasons.


ROGER CRAIG

Running Back
(Nebraska)
1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers; 1991 Los Angeles Raiders; 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Drafted: 2nd round (49th overall) of 1983 NFL Draft by San Francisco 49ers
Seasons: 11
Games: 165
All-Pro: 1
Pro Bowls: 4
Career Stats: 1,991 carries for 8,189 yards, 56 touchdowns; 566 receptions for 4,911 yards, 17 touchdowns.
Notable: At the time of his retirement, Craig ranked in the Top 20 career leaders in both receptions and rushing yards.


TERRELL DAVIS

Running Back
(Long Beach State; Georgia)
1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Drafted: 6th round (196th overall) of 1995 NFL Draft by Denver Broncos
Seasons: 7
Games: 78
All-Pro: 3
Pro Bowls: 3
Career Stats: 1,655 carries for 7,607 yards, 60 touchdowns
Notable: Significantly increased yardage total each season until he suffered knee injury. In 1998, he became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.



DERMONTTI DAWSON

Center
(Kentucky)
1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Drafted: 2nd round (44th overall) of 1988 NFL Draft by Pittsburgh Steelers
Seasons: 13
Games: 184
All-Pro: 6
Pro Bowls: 7
Career Stats: Started 144 career games.
Notable: Preeminent center of his era, Dawson was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. He started a string of 171 consecutive games played before injury in 12th season interrupted the streak.


RICHARD DENT

Defensive End
(Tennessee State)
1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Drafted: 8th round (203rd overall) of 1983 NFL Draft by Chicago Bears
Seasons: 15
Games: 203
All-Pro: 2
Pro Bowls: 4
Career Stats: Amassed 137.5 sacks. 8 interceptions for 89 yards, 1 touchdown. Also had one safety and one fumble recovery for TD.
Notable: Recorded double-digit sack totals eight times over a 10-season span that included career-high 17.5 sacks in 1984 and a league-leading 17.0 sacks during the 1985 Super Bowl season. He ranked third all-time in sacks behind only Reggie White and Bruce Smith when he retired.


CHRIS DOLEMAN

Defensive End/Linebacker
(Pittsburgh)
1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Drafted: 1st round (4th overall) of 1985 NFL Draft by Minnesota Vikings
Seasons: 15
Games: 232
All-Pro: 3
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: Amassed 151 quarterback sacks. Also had one fumble recovery for TD; two safeties; and 8 interceptions for 121 yards, 2 TDs.
Notable: Had eight seasons with double-digit sack totals included a career-high 21 during the 1989 season.


KEVIN GREENE

Linebacker/Defensive End
(Auburn)
1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Drafted: 5th round (113th overall) of 1985 NFL Draft by Los Angeles Rams
Seasons: 15
Games: 228
All-Pro:
2
Pro Bowls: 5
Career Stats: Amassed 160 sacks. Also had 5 interceptions for 53 yards, 1 TD; 3 Safeties, and 2 fumble recoveries for touchdowns.
Notable: Greene twice led the NFL in sacks, the first time in 1994 with the Steelers and again two years later in Carolina. He had 10 or more sacks in a season 10 times during his career.


RUSS GRIMM

Guard
(Pittsburgh)
1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Drafted: 3rd round (69th overall) of 1981 NFL Draft by Washington Redskins
Seasons: 11
Games: 140
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 4
Career Stats: Started 114 games.
Notable: An anchor of the team’s famous offensive line that fueled the team to three Super Bowl titles and earned Grimm a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s.


RAY GUY

Punter
(Southern Mississippi)
1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Drafted: 1st round (23rd overall) of 1973 NFL Draft by Oakland Raiders
Seasons: 14
Games: 207
All-Pro: 6
Pro Bowls: 7
Career Stats: 1,049 career punts for 44,493 yards and a 42.4 average. 209 punts landed inside the 20-yard line
Notable: Guy had a span of 619 punts without a block during his career, 2nd in NFL history when he retired. He was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994.


CHARLES HALEY

Defensive End/Linebacker
(James Madison)
1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Drafted: 4th round (96th overall) of 1986 NFL Draft by San Francisco 49ers
Seasons: 12
Games: 169
All-Pro: 2
Pro Bowls: 5
Career Stats: Recorded 100.5 sacks. Had one safety and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Notable: Haley holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl victories by a player. He won three with the Cowboys (XXVII, XVIII, XXX) and two with San Francisco (XXIII, XXIV).


LESTER HAYES

Cornerback
(Texas A&M)
1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Drafted: 5th round (126th overall) of 1977 NFL Draft by Oakland Raiders
Seasons: 10
Games: 149
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 5
Career Stats: 39 interceptions for 572 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Notable: Stole 13 passes in 1980 to lead the NFL in interceptions. The mark was one shy of the NFL record set by Dick “Night Train" Lane in 1952.


RICKEY JACKSON

Linebacker
(Pittsburgh)
1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
Drafted: 2nd round (51st overall) of 1981 NFL Draft by New Orleans Saints
Seasons: 15
Games: 227
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 6
Career Stats: Amassed 128 sacks. Had eight interceptions and one safety.
Notable: Jackson was one of the most productive and hardest hitting linebackers of his era. He was an integral part of the success that the New Orleans Saints enjoyed in the late-1980s and early ‘90s.


CORTEZ KENNEDY

Defensive Tackle
(Northwest Mississippi Comm. College; Miami - FL)
1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Drafted: 1st round (3rd overall) of 1990 NFL Draft by Seattle Seahawks.
Seasons: 11
Games: 167
All-Pro: 3
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: 58.0 sacks; three interceptions for 26 yards and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Notable: Kennedy was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. That year he had 14.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, 92 tackles, a fumble recovery and two batted down passes.


ART MODELL
Owner
1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
Notable: Modell worked closely with former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to establish NFL Films and became its first chairman. He also was an important negotiator with ABC to launch Monday Night Football.
 


JOHN RANDLE

Defensive Tackle
(Trinity Valley Community College; Texas A&M-Kingsville)
1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Drafted: Randle was not drafted. He was signed as a college free agent by the Minnesota Vikings in 1990
Seasons: 14
Games: 219
All-Pro: 6
Pro Bowls: 7
Career Stats: 137.5 sacks and one interception.
Notable: John Randle’s eight consecutive seasons with 10 or more sacks ranks second all-time behind only Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White.


ANDRE REED

Wide Receiver
(Kutztown)
1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Drafted: 4th round (86th overall) in 1985 NFL Draft by Buffalo Bills
Seasons: 16
Games: 234
All-Pro: 3
Pro Bowls: 7
Career Stats: 951 receptions for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns.
Notable: Reed had 50 or more receptions in 13 seasons, which rank him second all-time behind only Jerry Rice. Also, at the time of his retirement his 951 career receptions ranked third all-time.


JERRY RICE

Wide Receiver
(Mississippi Valley State)
1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks
Drafted: 1st round (16th overall) of 1985 NFL Draft by San Francisco 49ers
Seasons: 20
Games: 303
All-Pro: 11
Pro Bowls: 13
Career Stats: 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns.
Notable: Rice is the most prolific receiver in NFL history. His name sits atop virtually every receiving category in the record book. Rice’s career receptions are at least 400 more than any other receiver.


SHANNON SHARPE

Tight End
(Savannah State)
1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Drafted: 7th round (192nd overall) in 1990 NFL Draft by Denver Broncos
Seasons: 14
Games: 204
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns.
Notable: Sharpe retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards by a tight end. He is also a three-time Super Bowl champion, winning twice with the Broncos and once with the Ravens.


EMMITT SMITH
Running Back
(Florida)
1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals
Drafted: 1st round (17th player overall) in 1990 by Dallas Cowboys
Seasons: 15
Games: 226
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: 4,409 carries for 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns. 515 receptions for 3,224 yards and 11 TDs.
Notable: Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He owns many of the career rushing marks listed in the NFL’s record book.


PAUL TAGLIABUE

Commissioner 1989-2006
(Georgetown, New York University)
Notable: In 17 years as commissioner of the NFL Tagliabue grew the league from 28 to 32 teams and supported the construction of 20 new stadiums. He also created a league-wide internet network and the NFL Network.


STEVE TASKER

Special Teams/Wide Receiver
(Dodge City CC – KS; Northwestern)
1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Drafted: 9th round (226th overall) of 1985 NFL Draft by Houston Oilers.
Seasons: 13
Games: 169
All-Pro: 5
Pro Bowls: 7
Career Stats: 51 receptions for 779 yards and nine touchdowns. 44 kickoff returns for 910 yards and 20.7 yard average. 32 punt returns for 335 yards and 10.5 yard average.
Notable: Tasker was one of the greatest special teams players ever to play in the National Football League. He was one of the few special teams players that opposing teams would form a game plan against.


AENEAS WILLIAMS
Cornerback/Safety
(Southern University)
1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
Drafted: 3rd round (59th overall) of 1991 NFL Draft by Phoenix Cardinals
Seasons: 14
Games: 211
All-Pro: 4
Pro Bowls: 8
Career Stats: 55 interceptions for 807 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Notable: At the time of his retirement, Williams ranked tied with Hall of Famer Ken Houston for second on the NFL’s all-time list of interception returns for touchdowns with nine.

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