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Irvin, Thomas highlight 2007 HOF class

Guard Gene Hickerson, wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard/tackle/center Bruce Matthews, tight end Charlie Sanders, running back Thurman Thomas, and cornerback Roger Wehrli make up the Class of 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees. The six-man class was elected by the Hall of Fame's 40-member Selection Committee who met today in Miami, Florida. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.

Hickerson was the lead blocker for three Hall of Fame running backs during his 15 playing seasons with the Browns. He was named first-team All-NFL five straight years and was voted to six straight Pro Bowls.

Irvin, the Dallas Cowboys' first round pick in 1988, caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns during his 12-season career. He was named to five Pro Bowls and is a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.

Matthews starred at every position along the offensive line for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers-Titans franchise. He was named All-Pro nine seasons and selected to the Pro Bowl a record-tying 14 straight times.

Sanders caught 336 passes for 4,817 yards in 10 seasons with the Detroit Lions during an era when tight ends were mostly used as blockers. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls and named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

Thomas, a multi-dimensional running back, helped fuel the Buffalo Bills' "No-Huddle" offense of the 1990s. The NFL's MVP in 1991, he rushed for more than 12,000 yards and added another 4,458 yards on 472 receptions during his career.

Wehrli recorded 40 interceptions during his 14-season career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Named to the NFL's All-Decade team of the 1970s, he was named All-Pro five times and voted to seven Pro Bowls. The 2007 class will increase to 241 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Formal enshrinement ceremonies will be held in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on Saturday August 4 at 6:00 PM ET. The ceremony will be televised live on NFL Network and ESPN.

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