The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Feb. 1 plans to induct seven new members into football immortality, including the NFL’s all-time sack leader, Michael Strahan, alum of historically Black college (HBCU) Texas Southern University, who played 15 years with the New York Giants before retiring in 2007.
Strahan, was first eligible for nomination into the Hall of Fame last year, yet was surprisingly not chosen despite his remarkable career.
But Strahan, the 2001 Defensive Player of the Year, only had to wait one more year before he was voted in as a second-ballot selection. He will now add the title of Pro Football Hall of Fame member to a career resume that already includes seven Pro Bowl appearances, six All-Pro First Team selections, the 2002 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, and a Super Bowl title.
The other members of the 2014 class of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame include former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy, the first punter ever selected; former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker, Derrick Brooks; former Buffalo Bills receiver, Andre Reed; former Seattle Seahawks tackle, Walter Jones; former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Aeneas Williams; and former defensive lineman (Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles), Claude Humphrey,.
Six of the seven 2014 Hall of Fame inductees, Strahan, Brooks, Reed, Williams, Jones, and Humphrey are African-American. Three of them, Strahan, Williams, and Humphrey, are alumni of an HBCU.
All seven players were together when their selections were announced at the NFL Honors ceremony at Radio City Music Hall Feb. 1 in New York City, according to NFL.com.
Like Strahan, Brooks is a former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award winner, earning the honor one year after Strahan in 2002. He also helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, was named to the NFL Pro Bowl 11 times and selected to the All-Pro team nine times. Brooks played all 14 years of his career in Tampa before retiring in 2008.
Reed played with the Bills from 1985-1999 before playing one season with the Washington NFL franchise in 2000. A seven-time Pro Bowler, Reed is most famously known as the go-to receiver for Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Reed, Kelly and former Bills running back Thurman Thomas guided the Bills to four straight Super Bowls from 1990-93.
Williams was with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals from 1991-2000, and with the St. Louis Rams 2001-2004. The HBCU Southern University alum was selected to eight Pro Bowls with five All-Pro selections.
Jones served all 13 years of his career in Seattle and was named to nine Pro Bowls, seven All-Pro selections and helped lead the Seahawks to Super Bowl XL.
Humphrey, who graduated from the HBCU Tennessee State University, played in the NFL from 1968 to 1981, with his first 11 years played in Atlanta before playing his last three years with the Eagles. Humphrey earned six Pro Bowl and five All-Pro selections with the Falcons.
Guy was a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders.
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