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13th of November 2018

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5 players with Alabama roots nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2019

Five players with Alabama football roots are among the 102 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2019, including one entering the Hall of Fame process for the first time.

The Class of 2019 nominees include former linebacker Takeo Spikes, whose 15-year, 219-game NFL career ended in 2012 with 1,425 tackles, the most for an Auburn alumnus in the NFL.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released the list of modern-era nominees on Thursday. A player is considered modern era if he has been retired for at least five seasons and was active within the past 25 seasons.

The other Class of 2019 nominees from Alabama high schools and colleges are running back Shaun Alexander, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, linebacker Cornelius Bennett and offensive tackle Chris Samuels. All have previously appeared on the nomination list.

Spikes' top seasons came in 2003 and 2004 with the Buffalo Bills, when he earned Pro Bowl invitations. He also made first-team All-Pro in 2004.

Alexander (Alabama) went to the Pro Bowl in 2003, 2004 and 2005, when his career hit its peak. In 2005, Alexander won The Associated Press NFL MVP Award and the Bert Bell Award as the NFL Player of the Year as the league's leader in rushing yards. He set an NFL single-season record with 28 touchdowns and led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005. Alexander's 100 rushing touchdowns rank seventh in NFL history.

Anderson (Vigor, Auburn) became a fixture at right offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals after joining the team as the 10th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. Anderson started every Cincinnati game except for two from 1997 through 2006. From 2003 through 2006, he was on the AFC Pro Bowl team and, in 2004, 2005 and 2006, he made first-team All-Pro.

Bennett (Ensley, Alabama) was the second player picked in the 1987 NFL Draft. He played in four straight Super Bowls with the Bills and was a Pro Bowl selection in each of those seasons. He also was an All-Pro in 1988, played in 206 games and appeared in another Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons.

Samuels (Shaw, Alabama) was the third player picked in the 2000 NFL Draft. He went on to make the NFC Pro Bowl team six times from 2001 to 2008. Samuels spent 10 seasons with the Washington Redskins before spinal stenosis forced his retirement.

Fifteen men who played at Alabama high schools and colleges are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The state's Hall of Famers are Robert Brazile, Buck Buchanan, Frank Gatski, Kevin Greene, John Hannah, Don Hutson, Walter Jones, Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Terrell Owens Ken Stabler, John Stallworth, Bart Starr, Dwight Stephenson and Derrick Thomas.

Players and coaches who predate the 25-year window for modern-era nominees are considered by the Senior Selection Committee, which has named Johnny Robinson as its finalist for the Class of 2019.

From the initial list of modern-era nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 semifinalists, who will be announced in late November. The semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists in early January. 

The Class of 2019 will be selected from the 15 modern-era finalists, the senior finalist and the contributor finalists, who are Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt this year.

The voting for the Class of 2019 will be conducted at the 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held in Atlanta on Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl LIII. The results will be announced that night. The selection process bylaws provide that four to eight inductees will be selected. Finalists must receive 80 percent of the vote to be enshrined.

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The list of modern-era nominees includes:

Quarterbacks: Randall Cunningham, Dave Krieg, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair.

Running backs: Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Darryl Johnston, Eric Metcalf, Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Chris Warren, Ricky Watters.

Wide receivers: Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Sterling Sharpe, Rod Smith, Hines Ward.

Tight end: Mark Bavaro, Tony Gonzalez, Brent Jones, Jay Novacek.

Offensive linemen: Willie Anderson (T), Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ray Donaldson (C), Alan Faneca (G), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Steve Hutchinson (G), Mike Kenn (T), Olin Kreutz (C), Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Chris Samuels (T), Richmond Webb (T), Steve Wisniewski (G).

Defensive linemen: La'Roi Glover (DT/NT), Russell Maryland (DT), Leslie O'Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Richard Seymour (DT), Neil Smith (DE), Bryant Young (DT).

Linebackers: Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes,, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas.

Defensive backs: Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Champ Bailey (CB), Ronde Barber (CB/S), Bill Bates (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Nick Collins (S), Thomas Everett (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), John Lynch (S), Tim McDonald (S), Ed Reed (S), Dennis Smith (S), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Darren Woodson (S).

Kickers/punters: Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Sean Landeta (P).

Special teams: Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR).

Coaches: Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Jim Hanifan, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

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