CANTON, OHIO -- Six first-year eligible candidates, guard/tackle Larry Allen, kicker Morten Andersen, safety John Lynch, tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, and defensive end Michael Strahan are among the 27 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2013.
The Hall of Fame's Selection Committee chose the 27 semifinalists from the previously announced list of 127 preliminary nominees. The list of semifinalists is typically limited to 25 names but this year there are 27 resulting from a three-person tie for the final position. The Hall of Fame's By-laws provides that the list shall consist of "25 nominees plus all ties."
In addition to the six first-year eligible nominees, one other previously eligible candidate, cornerback Albert Lewis has made it to the semifinalist list for the first time. Each of the remaining 20 nominees on the Selection Committee's list has been a semifinalist at least once prior to this year.
The complete list of modern-era semifinalists is as follows:
Terrell Davis, running back: 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., owner: 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Joe Jacoby, offensive tackle: 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
Karl Mecklenburg, linebacker: 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
Jonathan Ogden, offensive tackle: 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
Will Shields, guard: 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Strahan, defensive end: 1993-2007 New York Giants
Paul Tagliabue, commissioner: 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, special teams/wide receiver: 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
The list of 27 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are defensive tackle Curley Culp, (1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions) and linebacker Dave Robinson, (1963-1972 Green Bay Packers, 1973-74 Washington Redskins).
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January, 2013.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
Although there is no set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
The Class of 2013 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, in New Orleans, La. the day before Super Bowl XLVII. The election results will be announced immediately afterwards from the Super Bowl media headquarters.
The Class of 2013 will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration. Additionally, a record number of Hall of Fame members are expected to return to Canton to take part in the annual Enshrinement Festival as a part of the Hall of Fame's special Golden Anniversary Reunion Celebration.
Individual enshrinement tickets will go on sale in late-January. In 2013, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is partnering with NFL On Location, the League's event experience and hospitality source, to offer exclusive fan packages to the Class of 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival & Golden Anniversary. For more information, visit Profootballhof.com/festivalpackages.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has created a special hashtag, #PFHOF13, to encourage sharing among fans about the selection process and nominees for the Class of 2013. The Pro Football Hall of Fame can be found @ProFootballHOF on most social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viddy, YouTube and Pinterest.