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Three ProCanes Named Semi-Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 Class

Jimmy, Edge and Ray move on to the next round of selections in their case to make the HOF

Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Tuesday the Pro Football Hall of Fame narrowed down their list of candidates for the class of 2018 to 27 semifinalists. Among the group were a few familiar names to ’Canes fans: Former UM head coach Jimmy Johnson, LB Ray Lewis and RB Edgerrin James.

Ray Lewis

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Walking off the field for the final time as a Super Bowl Champion, Ray Lewis looks to become a first-ballot HOFer when all is said and done.

Lewis, who is in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, is no surprise to have made the cut. A former star at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida, Lewis rose to prominence playing football in the sunshine state. Attending the University of Miami for three season, Lewis roamed the middle of the Hurricane defense. After being named an All-Big East member in 1994 and 1995, as well as being named an All-American in those years as well. Lewis was selected 26th overall in the 1996 NFL draft by Baltimore Ravens, where he would spend his entire 16-season career. Lewis has won two Super Bowls (35 & 47), he was twice named Defensive Player of the Year (2000 and 2003), and is a seven time First Team All-Pro.

Edgerrin James

Dolphins v Colts
A well placed stiff arm is among the many great qualities of Edgerrin James’ repertoire. Hopefully James can employ the move to become a HOF finalist for a consecutive year.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Edgerrin James is one of the pioneers at RB for the Miami Hurricanes. This is the fourth straight year that James has been a semifinalist for the HOF. The man who played his high school ball for Immokalee High School, James is firmly entrenched on the Mount Rushmore of running backs to play at UM. James is the only running back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. After setting multiple rushing benchmarks at UM, James was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, who selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. Paying off immediately, James would win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, rushing for 1,535 yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 586 receiving yards, 62 receptions, and 4 receiving TDs. James played seven on his 11 seasons in the NFL with the Colts. Owning most of the Colts’ rushing records before his departure : Career rushing yards (9,226), career rushing TDs (62), yards per game average (96.1), rushing yards in a season (1,709). James is ranked 12th all-time on the NFL’s rushing list with 12,246 career rushing yards.

Jimmy Johnson

Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Jimmy Johnson (left) and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (right) butted heads for years after Johnson’s departure. With Jones inducted into the Hall in 2017, does Johnson FINALLY get his own bust in the HOF for 2018?
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

One of the best coaches that game of football has ever enjoyed, Jimmy Johnson was a winner at every level of the game. Johnson instilled a winning culture at the University of Miami, leading the program to their first undefeated regular season in 1986 and then another in 1987, with the Hurricanes capturing their second national championship. Johnson moved on to the NFL, becoming the head coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, taking over for franchise stalwart HC Tom Landry. Johnson led the Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowls, one of only six coaches to do so in NFL history. Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989–1993, before both he and the Cowboys agreed to mutually part ways. Johnson would go on to coach the Miami Dolphins a couple years later, coaching the team until he resigned in 1999. Johnson had a win-loss record of 52–9 during his time at UM and has an 80–64 record during his NFL career.

The trio will look to become finalists when the selection committee narrows down the field from 27 to 15 in January. The HOF class of 2018 will be announced the day before Super Bowl 52 at the NFL Honors program. No more than five-era players can be selected to a single class. A class can be as small as four people being elected in a given year to eight at most.

Do you think all three will make it in? Let us know in the comment section.