CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Just a few weeks after unveiling the list of 15 players who were selected to be a part of the special Centennial slate, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced this afternoon the five modern era selections of the 2020 class.
The following players were the ones who made the final cut.
Drafted 16th overall out of the University of Southern California in 2003 by the Steelers, Troy Polamalu is regarded by many as one of the best defensive players in his era. In 12 professional seasons, Polamalu was named to eight Pro Bowls, six All-Pro selections (Four first-team & two-second team), the 2010 NFL Defensive player of the year and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team. Additionally, he helped lead a Steelers defense to three AFC titles and victories in Super Bowl XL & XLIII. Polamalu was selected for the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Selected with the 20th pick out of Arkansas in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, Steve Atwater spent a decade in the league punishing any player who dared to come across the middle of the field. Atwater played 10 seasons in Denver before ending his career the following season as a member of the Jets. During his 11 years of football, Atwater was named to eight Pro Bowls, three All-Pro teams (Two first-team & one second-team) and was a member of the 1990’s All-Decade team. On top of his individual success, Atwater was a part of a lethal defense that helped legendary quarterback John Elway go out on top, winning Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.
After concluding a very successful college career with the Miami Hurricanes, the Indianapolis Colts selected Edgerrin James with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. The thunder to Peyton Mannings lightning, James provided balance to a lethal Colts offense for his first eight years in the league before playing three seasons with the Cardinals and just seven games in his final year with the Seahawks. James was a four time Pro Bowl selection, a four time All-Pro (Two first-team & two second team), a two time NFL rushing leader, the 1999 NFL Rookie of the year and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.
Every team in the league had the chance to draft Isaac Bruce in the 1994 NFL draft. After all of them passed on the now Hall of Fame pass catcher, the St. Louis Rams drafted the Memphis Tiger quickly in the second round, with the 33rd overall pick. Bruce went on to play a major role in an offense that was known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” In 14 seasons with the Rams, Bruce established himself as one of the top at his position, despite having multiple play makers who were equally talented on his own team. He walked away from the game for good in 2009 after two seasons with the 49ers. During his 16 year career, Bruce was named to four Pro Bowls, a second-team All Pro in 1999, led the league in receiving in 1996 and helped his team defeat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Taken 17th overall out of Michigan in the 2001 NFL Draft, Steve Hutchinson went on to be one of the best interior linemen of his era during his 12 year professional career. Hutchinson was named to seven Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro selections (Five first-team & two second-team). He was also a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team. Hutchinson played his first five seasons with the Seahawks before finishing out his prime in Minnesota. He spent the final year of his career with the Titans. He will now call Canton home.