By Max Mathews
Last Updated: 12/09/19 9:16pm
First-time eligible candidates Troy Polamalu and Patrick Willis are among 122 Pro Football Hall of Fame 2020 nominees.
Eight players in their first year of eligibility, with a heavy defensive emphasis, are the most notable choices for the Hall of Fame class of 2020.
Joining Steelers’ hard-hitting safety Polamalu and 49ers bone-crunching linebacker Willis for consideration are linemen Justin Smith and John Abraham, linebacker Lance Briggs, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and special teamer Josh Cribbs.
Finalists from 2019 without enough support to be among the five modern-era players chosen are receiver Isaac Bruce, running back Edgerrin James, offensive linemen Alan Faneca, Tony Boselli and Steve Hutchinson, safeties John Lynch and Steve Atwater and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
The nominees include 63 offensive players, 43 defensive players and 16 special teamers – all representing the ‘modern era’ of football, classified as players whose careers ended within the past 25 years.
The class of 2020 will comprise 20 members: five from the modern era, 10 seniors (retired more than 25 years), two coaches and three contributors.
In November, 25 semi-finalists will be selected, and the modern era list will be narrowed to 15 finalists in January.
The 48-strong Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will make the final decisions on February 1 next year, the day before the Super Bowl, while the enshrinement ceremonies will be held next August in Canton, Ohio.