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Reggie Wayne Among First-Year Nominees For Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class Of 2020

The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday released its Modern-Era player nominees for the Class of 2020, a list that includes several former Colts players, including wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is in his first year of eligibility.


INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne first gained notoriety in Miami, and he became an NFL great in Indianapolis.

But will he ultimately be enshrined in Canton?

He took his first step forward towards that achievement today, when the wide receiver was revealed as one of eight first-time Modern-Era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Wayne was one of 12 former Colts on the initial nominees list for this year, and is joined by linebacker Cornelius Bennett, tight end Dallas Clark, returner/wide receiver Josh Cribbs, center Ray Donaldson, guard/tackle Chris Hinton, running back Edgerrin James, defensive end Simeon Rice, safety Bob Sanders, center Jeff Saturday and punter Rohn Stark.

Wayne played 14 seasons (2001-14) with the Colts after being selected by the team in the first round (30th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. In a franchise record 211 games, Wayne totaled 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection and First-Team All-Pro in 2010, Wayne ranks 10th in NFL history in receptions and receiving yards and is tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns.

He saved his best performances for the biggest of stages, however, as he caught 93 passes for 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns in 21 career playoff games; Wayne ranks second in league history, only trailing Jerry Rice, in postseason receptions, and ranks fourth all-time in postseason receiving yards.

Wayne, whose long touchdown pass from Peyton Manning was a key piece to the Colts' victory over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, was also a member of the 2009 Colts AFC Championship team. He became the 15th inductee into the Colts' Ring of Honor last year.

Other nominees

Will 2020 finally be the year for Wayne's former Hurricanes and Colts teammate Edgerrin James?

James, the greatest running back in Colts franchise history, last year was a Hall of Fame finalist for the third time in four years, but ultimately did not get the nod into Canton.

The numbers are on James' side, however; according to the Hall of Fame, since 1970, 89.3 percent of all finalists eventually have been selected for induction.

In his 11-year NFL career — the first seven of which he spent in Indianapolis — James was named to four Pro Bowls and rushed for 12,246 yards, which ranks 13th on the all-time list. His 15,610 total yards from scrimmage ranks 11th all-time among running backs, and is more than Hall of Fame backs Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis and Jim Brown.

James sits atop the Colts' record books in career rushing yards (9,226), rushing touchdowns (64), rushing yards per game average (96.1), rushing yards in a single season (1,709 in 2000) and most seasons with 1,000 rushing yards (five).

The 10 other former Colts players named 2020 Hall of Fame nominees on Thursday also hope to see their names on the list of 25 semifinalists released in November.

That list will then be whittled down to 15 finalists in early January 2020, when they'll be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on "Selection Saturday," the day before Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will also honor the NFL's Centennial Celebration through a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members, including the five Modern-Era players, 10 Seniors (players retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches.

According to the Hall of Fame, "The determination of the Seniors, Contributors and Coaches Finalists will be led by a special 25-person Centennial "Blue-Ribbon" panel who will review the backlog of deserving Seniors, Coaches and Contributors. The Blue-Ribbon Panel will be comprised of Hall of Fame Selectors, Pro Football Hall of Famers, media members, football historians and industry experts."

The Centennial Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the annual Enshrinement Week from Aug. 6-9, 2020, and the Centennial Celebration in Canton on Sept. 16-19, 2020.

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