Consider this a “save the date” notice for Jerry Rice.
He better not have anything planned for Saturday, Feb. 6. Because that’s the date he will be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rice, the all-time leading receiver, and the all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith, are among the 131 players, coaches and contributors who comprise the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election into the Hall of Fame’s class of 2010.
From below list of modern‐era nominees, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 modern‐era semifinalists will be announced on November 27.
The 25 modern‐era semifinalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern‐era finalists that will be announced on January 7.
The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern‐era finalists and the two previously announced senior nominees, former Detroit Lions cornerback Dick LeBeau and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little. LeBeau and Little were selected last month by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee.
While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the selection process by‐laws provide that between four and seven new members will be selected.
To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. A contributor, who is an individual who has made outstanding career contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
The preliminary list of candidates includes several other former 49ers, including: Edward DeBartolo Jr., Roger Craig, Charles Haley, Chris Doleman, Jim Plunkett, Ricky Watters, Russ Francis, Richard Dent, Kevin Greene, Ricky Jackson and Reggie Roby.
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PRELIMINARY LIST OF NOMINEES FOR THE CLASS OF 2010
FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLE NOMINEES
Quarterback – Rich Gannon
Running Back – Eddie George, Emmitt Smith
Wide Receiver – Tim Brown, Jerry Rice
Defensive Back – Aeneas Williams (CB/S)
Kicker – Gary Anderson
Quarterbacks – Ken Anderson, Randall Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Joe Theismann, Danny White (also Punter), Doug Williams
Running Backs – Ottis Anderson, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Leroy Hoard, Eric Metcalf (also WR), Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR), Mike Pruitt, Gerald Riggs, George Rogers, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
Wide Receivers - Cliff Branch, *Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, Roy Green, Herman Moore, Stanley Morgan, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe
Tight Ends – Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Ben Coates, Russ Francis, *Shannon Sharpe, Frank Wycheck
Offensive Linemen – Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), *Dermontti Dawson (C), *Russ Grimm (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), Max Montoya (G), Korey Stringer (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
Defensive Linemen – Al “Bubba” Baker (DE), Ray Childress (DT/DE), *Richard Dent (DE), Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (DE), *Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Steve McMichael (DT/NT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), *John Randle (DE/DT), Clyde Simmons (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
Linebackers – Cornelius Bennett, Matt Blair, Kevin Greene (also DE), Ken Harvey, Rickey Jackson, Rod Martin, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Hardy Nickerson, Chris Spielman, Pat Swilling, Darryl Talley
Defensive Backs – Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Raymond Clayborn (CB), Kenny Easley (S), Lester Hayes (CB), Carnell Lake (S/CB), Albert Lewis (CB), Frank Minnifield (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Darren Woodson (S), Louis Wright (CB)
Kickers/Punters – Ray Guy (P), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P)
Special Teams – Steve Tasker (ST/WR)
Coaches – Bill Arnsparger, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, A.O. “Bum” Phillips, Dan Reeves, Buddy Ryan, Clark Shaughnessy
*On 2009 17 finalists list