Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Announced

Enshrinement Published on : 2/6/2011

Defensive end Richard Dent, running back Marshall Faulk, linebackers Chris Hanburger and Les Richter, contributor Ed Sabol, cornerback Deion Sanders, and tight end Shannon Sharpe make up the Class of 2011 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 North Texas. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists who had been determined earlier by the committee.

{GALLERY}Dent recorded 137.5 sacks during his 15-season career including a league-high 17 sacks in 1985. Named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XX, he was voted to four Pro Bowls.

Faulk, the first player to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four straight seasons, rushed for 12,279 yards and scored 100 career rushing touchdowns. He added another 6,875 yards and 36 touchdowns receiving.

Hanburger anchored the Washington Redskins defense for 14 seasons. He intercepted 19 passes in his career and retired with a record-tying three fumble recoveries for touchdowns.

Richter, whose rights were obtained by the Rams in exchange for 11 players, was named to the Pro Bowl eight straight times. A first- or second-team All-Pro six straight years, he also handled placekicking duties early in his career.

Sabol founded NFL Films and served as the company's president or chairman until 1995. Under his guidance, NFL Films received 52 Emmy Awards while revolutionizing the manner in which sports was presented.

Sanders earned All-Pro honors at cornerback nine times and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s at both cornerback and punt returner. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, he recorded 53 career interceptions, nine of which he returned for touchdowns.

Sharpe retired as the NFL's all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdown receptions by a tight end with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns. He was the starting tight end on three Super Bowl championship teams, twice with the Denver Broncos and once with the Baltimore Ravens.

The 2011 class will increase to 267 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Enshrinement of the Class of 2011 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. The Enshrinement Ceremony will be televised live by both ESPN and the NFL Network.

The annual NFL/Pro Football Hall of Fame Game that kicks off the NFL's preseason will be played on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET and broadcast live by NBC. Teams have not yet been announced.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is a 13-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class.

Held in Canton each year, the festival includes 18 public events and culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game. Two other major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, Aug. 5), and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, Aug. 7). It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2011 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket. At the GameDay Roundtable, the members of the Class of 2011 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. Info>>>


Defensive End … 6-5, 265 … Tennessee State … 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles … 15 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Chicago in eighth round (203rd player overall) of 1983 NFL Draft … Played in every game as rookie … Became full-time starter early in 1984, beginning a 10-year period in which he recorded 10 or more sacks in eight of 10 seasons … An intimidating player, could speed rush or power rush the quarterback … Twice, once in 1984 and again in 1987, recorded 4.5 sacks in a game, both vs. Raiders … One of game's premier pass rushers with 137.5 career sacks, which at time of retirement third all-time best … Led NFC with team record 17.5 sacks, 1984 … Following year, led NFL with 17 sacks as an integral part of Bears dominating defense … His three tackles, 1.5 sacks, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles earned him Super Bowl XX MVP honors following Bears lopsided 46-10 win over Patriots … Career statistics include eight interceptions (one touchdown), a safety, and fumble recovery for a touchdown … Named first- or second-team All-Pro four times, All-NFC five times … Selected to play in four Pro Bowls (1985, 1986, 1991, 1994) … Born December 13, 1960 in Atlanta, Georgia. | HOF BIO>>>

Running Back … 5-10, 208 … San Diego State … 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams … 12 playing seasons … 176 games … Selected by Colts 1st round (2nd player overall) in 1994 draft … Rushed for 143 yards, scored three touchdowns in rookie debut … Finished season with 1,282 rushing yards and AFC-leading 11 TDs … Also caught 52 passes for 522 yards and touchdown … Named Rookie of the Year … Rushed for 1,000 yards in seven of first eight seasons … In 1999 became second in NFL history to eclipse 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and receiving and set then-record for yards from scrimmage (2,429) and was named NFL's Offensive Player of the Year for first of three straight times … Named NFL MVP in 2000 after setting single-season record for touchdowns (26) that included league-leading 18 rushing touchdowns … Was first of two straight seasons he led NFL in scoring and touchdowns … First-team All-Pro 1999, 2000, 2001 … Second-team All-Pro in 1994, 1995, 1998 … Voted to seven Pro Bowls… All-AFC twice and All-NFC three times in career … First player in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four straight seasons (1998-2001) … Retired as NFL's ninth-ranked rusher (12,279 yards) … Recorded 767 receptions (16th all-time at retirement) for 6,875 yards, 36 touchdowns … His 19,154 yards from scrimmage was sixth all-time … Born February 26, 1973 in New Orleans, Louisiana. | HOF BIO>>>

Linebacker … 6-2, 218 … North Carolina … 1965-1978 Washington Redskins … 14 playing seasons, 187 games … Selected by the Redskins in 18th round (245th player overall) in 1965 NFL Draft … Made mark as a rookie as big-play maker … Was "defensive quarterback" and one of most dependable and steady linebackers of era … An integral part of dominant Redskins teams of the 1970s … Selected first-team All-NFL four times in five-season span (1972-76) … Named All-Eastern Conference, 1968 and 1969; All-NFC six times in seven seasons (1970-76) … Voted to nine Pro Bowls ... Outstanding play in 1972 helped lead the Redskins to first Super Bowl berth … Recorded numerous game-changing plays throughout season as team won NFC East with 11-3 mark … Shared team lead with career-high four interceptions … Strong play continued into postseason as the Redskins downed Green Bay 16-3 in divisional playoff before facing Dallas in 1972 NFC Championship Game … Recorded two tackles and six assists as Redskins routed Cowboys 26-3 … Added another strong game in Super Bowl appearance recording four solo tackles, assisting on two in 14-7 loss to Dolphins in Super Bowl VII … In all, Hanburger recovered three fumbles for touchdowns, an NFL record at time of retirement … Also recorded 19 career interceptions for 347 yards and 2 TDs … Born August 13, 1941 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. | HOF BIO>>>

Linebacker … 6-3, 238 … California …1954-1962 Los Angeles Rams … Nine playing seasons, 112 games … Selected by New York Yanks in first round (2nd player overall) of 1952 draft …Yanks folded two days after NFL Draft … Team assets, including signing rights to Richter, were granted to expansion Dallas Texans … Los Angeles Rams dealt 11 players to Texans to obtain Richter ... Rams waited two years while Richter served in military … Upon return signed with Rams and embarked on nine-season career that earned him reputation as one of the best linebackers of his era … Known for rugged, punishing style of play … Was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls, missing only final season in 1962 … Also named a first- or second-team All-NFL each season during a six-year span, 1955-1960 … Also saw some time at center and handled Rams placekicking duties early in career … Received much attention in 1955 for his play on defense as well as clutch placekicking that helped Rams to 8-3-1 record and NFL Western Division crown and berth in championship game … Led Rams in scoring, 1955 and 1956 … In all, totaled 193 points off of 29 field goals and 106 extra points during career … Recorded 16 career interceptions for 206 yards … Twice had four picks in a season (1957 and 1961) and was Rams leading interceptor in 1957 … Battled through various injuries but never missed game during 112-game career … Born October 6, 1930 in Fresno, California … Died June 12, 2010 at the age of 79. | HOF BIO>>>

Founder/President/Chairman … Ohio State … 1964-1995 NFL Films … Man behind idea of NFL Films …Aspiring filmmaker, who at age 45 hatched idea of forming Blair Productions, a film company named after daughter … In 1962 contacted NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle with offer to double $1,500 bid for rights to film 1962 NFL Championship Game … Rozelle accepted and Sabol's film company was off and rolling … From start, incorporated unique creative angles inspired by his background in drama society at Ohio State and brief stint on Broadway … Rather than single camera located high in stadium, Sabol added sideline camera to catch intensity of players … Blair Productions continued to shoot NFL action for next two years before Sabol convinced NFL it needed own motion picture company … With that, NFL Films was born … Served as President until 1985 when he turned over role to son Steve … Senior Sabol continued to serve as Chairman through his retirement in 1995 … During tenure, NFL Films won 52 Emmy Awards … With Ed Sabol's vision, NFL Films revolutionized manner in which sports are presented … Firsts in film include use of microphone on coaches, referees and players; use of reverse-angle replay; adding popular music to footage; and popular bloopers videos … Began producing weekly NFL highlight shows in the late 1960s, introduced first sports home video in 1980 … Born September 11, 1916 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. | HOF BIO>>>

Cornerback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner … 6-1, 195 … Florida State … 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens … 14 seasons, 188 games … Selected by Atlanta in 1st round (5th player overall) of 1989 draft … Returned punt 68 yards for touchdown in NFL debut … Scored total of six touchdowns on punt returns, three TDs on kickoff returns, and returned nine interceptions for scores during career … Multi-faceted athlete returned one fumble for TD and had 60 receptions for 784 yards and 3 TDs … In all, recorded 53 career interceptions including five with Ravens when he returned to field after three-year retirement … Member of NFL's All-Decade Team of 1990s as both cornerback, punt returner … Led NFL in punt returns, 1998, with 15.6 average … Led NFC in kickoffs in 1992 and interceptions in 1991, 1993 … Was widely regarded as "shutdown corner" during career … Named first-team All-Pro nine times at cornerback in addition to receiving All-Pro as kick returner in 1992 and punt returner 1998 … Elected to eight Pro Bowls … Retired second all-time in interception return yardage (1,331), tied for second for most interceptions returned for touchdown in a career (9) and a season (3) … His 303 yards gained on interception returns in 1994, third best in NFL at retirement …. In 1994 became first player to have two 90-yard interception returns for touchdowns in same season … Named NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, 1994 … Born August 9, 1967 in Fort Myers, Florida. | HOF BIO>>>

Tight End … 6-2, 230 … Savannah State … 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens … 14 playing seasons, 204 games … Three-time All-America at Savannah State … Selected by Broncos in the seventh round (192nd player overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft … At time of retirement, his 815 career receptions and 10,060 yards and 62 TDs were all NFL career records for a tight end … His 214 receiving yards vs. Kansas City in 2002 is an NFL single-game record for a tight end … Tied NFL record with 13 receptions in single post-season game (vs. Raiders, 1993) … Three times during career amassed over 1,000 yards receiving … Earned first- or second-team All-Pro honors five times and first- or second-team All-AFC honors six times … Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1993-99, 2002) … In 1996 led all tight ends in receptions (80), receiving yards (1,062 yards), and receiving touchdowns (10) … Following season had career best 1,107 receiving yards for career best 15.4 yard average … An integral part of Broncos Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII and Ravens Super Bowl XXXV championships … Born June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois. | HOF BIO>>>