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One More Call to the Hall: A Pair of Miami Hurricane Greats Named HOF Finalists

A couple of Hurricane greats are one vote away from being former immortalized at the games highest level.

Edgerrin James #32

One more step toward being immortalized forever. On Tuesday evening, the NFL announced their 15 modern-era finalists for the 2018 Hall of Fame class. With anywhere from four to eight members being named to a class, the nail biting will begin for a couple University of Miami alumni until the actual class election is revealed on February 3rd at the NFL Honors event. Here are the Hurricane candidates.

Ray Lewis

On the field, Lewis is a first ballot Hall of Famer in every sense, from his leadership, skill set, period of dominance to his contribution to the game. A larger-than-life personality during his career, Lewis was the keystone to the Baltimore Ravens’ early success as a franchise coming out of college. Lewis played for the Ravens from 1996 to 2012.

His career accolades are some of the best the game has ever seen. 13 Pro Bowls, seven First-Team All-Pro Selections, was named Defensive Player of Year twice (2000 & 2003), Super Bowl XLVII MVP and he was a two-time Super winner (2000 & 2012).

If there is any debate, it will have to do with Lewis’ off-field transgressions, the latest of which was taking a knee with his former club at an international game in London that drew widespread backlash.

Edgerrin James

This is the second consecutive year that James has made it as a finalist. The former RB from Immokalee, Florida, was a star running back for the Colts in what soon became a reign of prominence for both player and club. James immediately set himself apart, winning the 1999 Rookie of the Year award. Playing for the Colts from 1999 to 2005, the UM Sports Hall of Fame member rushed for 9,226 yards and 64 touchdowns as a member of the Colts. James had seven 1,000 yard rushing seasons. By the time his career concluded, James had 12,246 rushing yards, 433 receptions, 3,364 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons

With 15,610 total yards from scrimmage, James has more career yardage than Hall of Fame running backs Jerome Bettis (15,111), Eric Dickerson (15,396), Terrell Davis (8,887) and Jim Brown (14,811).

While Frank Gore storms up the all-time rushing list, it’s James’ No. 32 that still holds just about every Colts’ rushing record.

Here’s a list of all the franchise records James holds to this day according to :

Career rushing yards (9,226), rushing touchdowns (64), rushing yards per game average (96.1), rushing yards in a single season (1,709 in 2000) and most seasons with 1,000 rushing yards (five).

Jimmy Johnson Misses the Cut

Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
All too familiar with HOF weekend, Jimmy Johnson has to wait yet another year for his chance at a golden jacket.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Sadly, Jimmy Johnson was not among the 15 finalist named on Tuesday. Johnson has yet to be named a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting process, being named a semi-finalist in previous attempts.

Known best for his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Johnson led ‘America’s Team’ to two Super Bowls from 1989 to 1993. He also served as the Dolphins’ coach from 1996 to 1999. Last time around, Johnson made it to the semi-final selections of the process and has once been a finalist.

Johnson’s career record of 44–36 with the Cowboys does not jump off the page at you, but considering that he was able to turn the fortunes of the Cowboys around once hired by Jerry Jones, later winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1993 and 1994, should be impressive enough to hear his name called for the Hall. Johnson was also 7–1 in postseason play with the Cowboys. The highlight of Johnson’s career will be those nine seasons with the Cowboys more than his time coaching the Miami Dolphins. That length of time is relatively small in comparison to other modern era coaches. However, former 49ers’ Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh also has just nine seasons on his resume.

James and Lewis look to be the newest additions to the Hurricanes’ NFL Hall of Fame club alongside Ted Hendricks, Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto and Warren Sapp.