Birmingham, Ala. – Former Southwestern Athletic Conference standouts, Michael Strahan (Texas Southern) and Aeneas Williams (Southern) are among the 15 modern-era finalists to be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, February 2, 2013.
Strahan and Williams join the list of finalists that include: Larry Allen (Dallas Cowboys), Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers), Tim Brown (Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders), Chris Carter (Minnesota Vikings), Curley Culp (Kansas City Chiefs), Edward Debartolo Jr. (Owner – San Francisco 49ers), Kevin Greene (Los Angeles Rams), Art Modell (Owner Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens), Jonathan Ogden (Baltimore Ravens), Bill Parcells (Coach New York Giants/New England Patriots/Dallas Cowboys), Andre Reed (Buffalo Bills), Dave Robinson (Green Bay Packers), Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and Will Shields (Kansas City Chiefs).
The 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 127 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 27 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. Culp and Robinson were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee.
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
As a senior at Texas Southern, Strahan was selected All-America first team by The Sheridan Network and the Associated Press. As a defensive end, he had recorded 62 tackles with a school-record 19 quarterback sacks and 32 tackles totaling 142 yards in losses.
In 1992, Strahan was named first team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference and the SWAC’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He was also named Black College Defensive Player of the Year. As a junior in 1991, Strahan led the SWAC with 14.5 quarterback sacks. His 41.5 career sacks are a Texas Southern record.
Strahan played 14 years in the NFL and his entire career with the New York Giants. He was selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 1993 draft. He recorded 141.5 career sacks and registered double-digit sack totals six times during a nine-season span (1997-2005). He was named first-team All-Pro five times (1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005) and All-NFC five seasons. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls and set the NFL single-season sack record with 22.5 sacks (2001). Strahan also captured the NFL sack title in 2003 with 18.5 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2001). He helped the Giants defeat the Patriot, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII, retiring after the season. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Williams played one season (1990) at Southern finishing the season tied for NCAA Division I-AA record for most interceptions. Despite playing one season, the Phoenix Cardinals drafted him in the third round (59th overall).
In 14 seasons with the Phoenix Cardinals (1991-2000) and the St. Louis Rams (2001-04), he tallied 795 tackles, 55 interceptions and nine touchdowns. He was named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year by NFL Players Association and earned a Pro Bowl nod with All-NFC acclaim for first time in 1994. He added another conference interception title with a career-high nine interceptions that year. He was selected first-team All-NFC in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2001 and named to NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s.
Williams recorded an interception in every season but his last and had five or more picks in a season on six occasions. He led the Cardinals in interceptions seven times and the Rams in 2003. His nine picks for a touchdown tied him for second all-time at his retirement.
– Courtesy: SWAC.org