The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the election of eight new members in February, and their enshrinement will take place on Aug. 6 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
The ceremony will be televised by both ESPN and NFL Network.
The list includes six players: offensive tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch, safety LeRoy Butler, linebacker Sam Mills and defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Bryant Young. They will be joined by coach Dick Vermeil and the first official to enter the Hall, Art McNally.
Mills was in the 20th and final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate. Butler and Boselli were in their 16th year of eligibility, and Young was in his 10th. For the first time since 2012, no one with first-year eligibility was selected for enshrinement.
ESPN is profiling each member of this year’s class.
Tony Boselli’s father didn’t live long enough to see his son make the Hall of Fame, but he recorded a congratulatory message for him before he died. Tony said he will sit down and watch his dad’s part in the video just before the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Read more.
The best day for NFL officials, McNally said in 2012, is when they go entirely unnoticed. Their job, he said, is to perform in a way that “hopefully nobody is going to even know you’re around.” McNally might not be as well known as other NFL pioneers, but his legacy includes instant replay and other advancements. Read more.
When Vermeil surprised the NFL by retiring in 1982 at just 46 years old, he seemed to be “eroding.” When he returned to coach 14 years later, the game had changed, but so had he. Read more.
Mills’ path to the NFL was anything but routine, but the 5-foot-9 linebacker nicknamed “Field Mouse” carved out his path on and off the field. Read more.
Butler is known for originating the Lambeau Leap, but his story goes well beyond the famous celebration. His Hall of Fame résumé stands on its own without any post-touchdown celebrations. Read more.
“We had to find out if he was a track man playing football, or if he was a football player.” Branch was known for his blazing speed, but his ability to become a complete receiver is what made him a dominant force in the 1970s and ’80s. Read more.
Former 49ers teammate Charles Haley surprises Bryant Young with the news of his Hall of Fame election.
Hall of Fame voters said the testimonials of so many opponents helped push Young into the Hall after nine years of waiting quietly. “It was humbling to hear the things that they said,” Young said. Read more.
His leadership and ability to dominate at any position on the defensive line helped fuel New England’s first three title teams. “We could put Richard anywhere and be successful with it. When you have that type of talent and domination from that position, that’s how you win championships.” Read more.