Class of 2010 finalists trimmed to seven


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, Jerry Rice, and Emmitt Smith are the five modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010. They are joined by seniors committee finalists Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little. A final, secret ballot was taken that will determine how many of those seven are elected. The class will have a minimum of four.

The NFL Network began live coverage of the announcement at 5 p.m. ET and will stream the announcement beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The final list was pared down from a group of 15 modern-era nominees by the 44-member Hall of Fame selection committee that met this morning at the Super Bowl XLIV media center. The selectors first pared that list from 15 to 10. In addition to the final five, the others that were part of the final 10 were Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Cortez Kennedy, Andre Reed, and Shannon Sharpe. Each finalist had to receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent to be elected.

Rice and Smith, widely considered automatic entrants, were both eligible for the first time. Rice, who holds every major receiving record, was chosen first-team All-Pro 10 times, and was a 13-time Pro Bowler during 20 NFL seasons. Smith was a four-time first-team All-Pro and voted to eight Pro Bowls during a 13-year career that he finished as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.

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