Every day (well, every weekday), we’ll bring you a Hurricanes top five list at lunchtime. It’s something to look forward to.
Mondays: Answers to Top 5 Game Preview from Friday
Tuesdays: Top 5 in the ACC
Wednesdays: Unique Top 5 List
Thursdays: Unique Top 5 List
Fridays: Top 5 to Watch for Upcoming Game
As noted yesterday, NFL.com debated Devin Hester‘s HOF credentials with all five analysts who participated agreeing that he will one day enter the Hall of Fame. But who are the top candidates for Canton among former Miami Hurricanes?
This was difficult, but the following are the Hurricanes’ top five candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
5. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: This could easily be Reggie Wayne or Devin Hester. But Johnson has been the best receiver in the league for several years already, and has led the league in receiving yards twice (2008, 09). He’s a five-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro selection. He has plenty of football left to be played and by the time he calls it quits he should have a beefy resume that earns him a trip to Canton within a few years.
4. Cortez Kennedy, DT, Seattle Seahawks: A member of the 1990s All-Decade Team and an eight-time Pro Bowler, Kennedy’s Canton bid fell short for the third time this year. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, and a three-time All-Pro selection. Kennedy had 58 sacks in his 11-year NFL career–all of which was spent with the Seattle Seahawks. He’ll probably become the next Hurricane to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the next year or so.
3. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens: Reed has been the league’s top ballhawk safety for years. He holds the record for the longest and the second-longest interception return in NFL history (106 yards in 2004 and 107 yards in 2008), and he’s only 20 yards shy of the record for career interception return yards (Rod Woodson holds the record with 1,483). He has 56 interceptions over the course of his career (16th in NFL history), and six interception returns for touchdown (14th). He’s a 7-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection, and he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.
2. Warren Sapp, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Oakland Raiders: Sapp is a Super Bowl Champion (XXXVII), 7-time Pro Bowler, and 4-time All-Pro selection. He’s a member of the 1990s and 2000s All-Decade teams and was the 1999 Defensive Player of the Year. His 96.5 career sacks are currently 31st on the NFL’s all-time career leaders list. Sapp becomes eligible for induction in 2013.
1. Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens: Lewis is arguably one of the top five linebackers all-time. He’s been to 12 Pro Bowls and he’s a 10-time AP First or Second Teamer (7 first team selections, 3 second team selections)–NFL records for an inside linebacker (the 10 All-Pro selections are tied with Lawrence Taylor for most selections for a linebacker). Not only is he a Super Bowl Champion (XXXV), he is a Super Bowl MVP. He’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2000, 03), and he has as much or more of an impact for his team every time he steps onto the field than anybody in the league. If he isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer, I don’t know who is.
Honorable Mention: Devin Hester, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Feagles, Edgerrin James, Jerome Brown, Sean Taylor
Current former Miami Hurricanes in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (induction year): Jim Otto (1980), Ted Hendricks (1990), Jim Kelly (2002), Michael Irvin (2007).