Today the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the nominees for the Class of 2021. The list includes 130 names, including 14 players who are eligible for the first time.
There are seven former Pittsburgh Steelers players on the list, plus Bill Nunn, who is a Contributor Finalist for induction in 2021. Nunn’s work with the Steelers was recently highlighted in an ESPN segment titled ‘The Dynasty Builder,’ which featured interviews with many of the players he played a role in drafting, including Hall of Famer John Stallworth.
7 Former Steelers Players Nominated
The seven Steelers nominated include former offensive guard Alan Faneca, who has been a finalist for the past five years, as well as wide receiver Hines Ward, who has been a semifinalist for five consecutive years.
Faneca played 13 years in the NFL, ten of those with the Steelers; he was selected to nine Pro Bowls and named All-Pro six times. Ward caught 1,000 passes during his 14-year career in Pittsburgh and made the Pro Bowl four times; he was Super Bowl MVP in the team’s 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in 2006.
Former Steelers tight end Heath Miller is eligible for the first time, having played between 2005-15. Miller caught 592 passes and scored 45 touchdowns during the 168 games of his 11-year career, making it to the Pro Bowl twice, in 2009 and 2012.
Outside linebacker Joey Porter, nose tackle Casey Hampton and placekicker Gary Anderson have also been nominated.
Porter played 13 seasons in the NFL, the first eight with the Steelers. He appeared in a total of 188 games, accumulating 98 sacks, 12 interceptions, 49 passes defensed, 25 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He earned Pro Bowl honors four times and was first-team All-Pro in 2002.
Casey Hampton played his entire 12-year career in Pittsburgh, appearing in 173 games and making it to the Pro Bowl five times.
Placekicker Gary Anderson was a fixture in the NFL for 23 seasons, the first 13 with the Steelers. He was a Pro Bowler four times and was first-team All-Pro at age 39 with the Minnesota Vikings, a year in which he made all 35 of his regular season field goal attempts.
Punter Rohn Stark spent the lion’s share of his career with the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts but played for the Steelers in 1995.
Hall of Fame Selection Saturday
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet on the Saturday prior to Super Bowl LV. The number of finalists will be reduced from 15 to 10 and then five. The Class of 2021 will be announced during the ‘NFL Honors’ show that evening.
Class of 2020 to be Enshrined in 2021
In addition to any prospective 2021 enshrinees, the Steelers will have three former members of the organization enshrined as part of the Class of 2020, namely, former head coach Bill Cowher and former safeties Troy Polamalu and Donnie Shell. All were scheduled to be enshrined this past August, but ceremonies were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for August 5-8, 2021, in Canton, Ohio. The Steelers will play the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 Hall of Fame game on August 5. The Class of 2020 will be enshrined on Saturday August 7 and the Class of 2021 on Sunday August 8.
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