NFL Hall of Fame class of 2020 announced

Sports

FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2014, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu watches from the bench in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Brownsin Cleveland. First-time eligibles Reggie Wayne and Polamalu are among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s modern-day 2020 class. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)

(CBS) — The complete Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020 was unveiled on Saturday, one day before Super Bowl LIV. Troy Polamalu and Edgerrin James lead this year’s class of five modern-day inductees along with Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce and Steve Hutchinson.

Polamalu spent his entire 12-season career as a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The two-time Super Bowl champion was known as much for his ability on the field as he was for his long flowing mane of dark curly hair. Polamalu was also selected to eight Pro Bowls and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.

James is a former running back who spent 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. James is a four-time Pro Bowler and holds the Colts franchise records for most career rushing yards, most career rushing touchdowns and most rushing yards in a single season. James led the league in rushing his 1990 rookie year and again the next season. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in seven of his 11 seasons in the NFL.

Isaac Bruce was a wide receiver who spent 14 of his 16 seasons with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams. An integral part of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” Bruce caught a 73-yard touchdown pass in Super Bowl XXXIV, which the Rams won 23-16 over the Tennessee Titans. Bruce made four Pro Bowls and led the league in receiving yards in 1996. Bruce finished his career with 1,024 receptions for 15,208 yards and 91 touchdowns.

Steve Hutchinson played guard for the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. Hutchinson went to seven straight Pro Bowls from 2003-2009.

Atwater was a safety for the Denver Broncos from 1989-1998 and spent his final season in 1999 with the New York Jets. Atwater is a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Broncos and was a member of eight AFC Pro Bowl teams.

To mark the 100th year of the NFL’s existence, the 2020 centennial class is the largest class ever, featuring five modern-day inductees alongside two coaches, three contributors and 10 senior inductees to form a 20-person class.

Coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson had already been announced as inductees during earlier NFL playoff games. Both men were surprised with the announcement live on-air while they were performing their normal duties as NFL analysts for CBS and Fox, respectively.

The senior inductees are:

  • Harold Carmichael, receiver
  • Jim Covert, lineman
  • Bobby Dillon, safety
  • Cliff Harris, safety
  • Winston Hill, lineman
  • Alex Karras, defensive tackle
  • Donnie Shell, safety
  • Duke Slater, lineman
  • Mac Speedie, defensive end
  • Ed Sprinkle, defensive linemen/linebacker

The three contributors honored in 2020 are Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.

Sabol, along with his father Ed, is the co-founder of NFL Films. NFL Films highlights have become known for their excellent slow-motion cinematography and iconic background music. Beginning in 1965, Philadelphia sports fixture John Facenda became the narrator of these highlight packages, earning him the nickname “The Voice of God” among NFL Fans.

Tagliabue was NFL commissioner from 1989-2006. During his tenure, the league introduced free agency and the expansion of the league from 28 to 32 teams.

Young was the general manager of the New York Giants from 1979-1997. Prior to Young’s arrival, the Giants spent much of the 1960s and all of the 1970s in a dismal state, failing to make the playoffs for 17 straight years. Young helped turn the franchise around, contributing to two Super Bowl wins during his tenure.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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