The six newest members of the National Football League Hall of Fame were announced on Saturday February 3rd. The prestigious honor was given to Michael Irvin, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Matthews, Roger Wehrli, Charlie Sanders and Gene Hickerson. This select group of players will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in August.
Michael Irvin’s career in the spotlight has had it’s troubled times, but his production on the field was unquestionable. As a part of the infamous “Triplets” he, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman led the Dallas Cowboys to three Superbowl victories. Irvin was voted to 5 Pro Bowls and was selected to the All-Decade team of the 1990’s.
Thurman Thomas’s production at running back helped to propel the Buffaloe Bills to 4 straight Superbowl appearances although none resulted in a win. He led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage 4 consecutive seasons and was the league MVP in 1991.
Bruce Matthews’ career as an offensive lineman was lengthy as he played nearly 300 games throughout his career. Accolades include NFL record 14 straight Pro Bowl appearances, 9 All-Pro selections, and he was chosen for the All-Decade team for the 1990’s.
Roger Wehrli was a member of the 1970’s All-Decade team as a cornerback for the St. Louis Cardinals. Wehrli was a top tier corner in the league for 14 years and earned 5 All-Pro selections along with 7 Pro Bowl appearances.
Charlie Sanders helped to revolutionize the tight end position in football. In a time when tight ends were primarily blockers, Sanders’ athleticism and catching ability made him a threat in the passing game. His skills earned him 7 Pro Bowls and 3 All-Pro selections.
Gene Hickerson made a living clearing paths for the likes of Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly. He was perhaps the most dominant guard of his time and was a devastating lead blocker. Hickerson was chosen for the 1960’s All-Decade team and had 3 All-Pro selections to go along with his 6 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.