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Ex-LSU stars, Louisiana natives among HOF Class of 2019 finalists

  • By Raymond Partsch III | The Daily Iberian
  • Jan 3, 2019
Ex-LSU stars, Louisiana natives among HOF Class of 2019 finalists

A total of four Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers could be headed to Canton, Ohio this summer.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2019 on Thursday, and among the esteemed group of gridiron stars were a trio of Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers.

Former LSU offensive line standouts Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae and Louisiana native Ed Reed made the list of modern-era finalists. Joining that trio is Louisiana native and former LSU great Johnny Robinson as this year’s senior finalist.

Faneca, a New Orleans native who grew up in Houston, played for LSU from 1994 to 1997, earning All-America honors in 1996 and 1997. He was a finalist for the 1997 Outland Trophy after he surrendered only one sack in 36 games started.

Faneca went on to be drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers and became a nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All-Pro. He was named to the Steelers All-Time Team and was a starter on the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL team.

Faneca was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Mawae was an all-state player at Leesville High School before going on to play for LSU from 1989 to 1993. After earning freshman All-SEC honors in 1990, he earned first-team All-SEC honors the following year when he played left tackle, center and left guard for the Tigers, and then earned second-team All-SEC honors and third-team All-America honors as a junior.

Mawae was drafted in the second round by Seattle and played 15 seasons in the NFL for three teams (Seattle, N.Y. Jets, and Tennessee). Mawae earned Pro Bowl honors eight times and was named a first-team All-Pro seven times and second-team All-Pro once. He also was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.

Mawae was inducted into the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 and the LSHOF in 2013.

Reed grew up in St. Charles Parish and earned all-state honors at Destrehan High School, where he was also a state champion in the 4x100 meter relay. Reed went on to become a two-time consensus All-American safety at the University of Miami, where he also was named Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year and helped the Hurricanes win the 2001 BCS National Championship.

Reed was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens and he went on to earn Pro Bowl honors nine times, first-team All-Pro honors five times and second-team All-Pro honors three times. He helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.

Reed was inducted into the LSHOF in 2017.

The other modern-era finalists include Kansas City and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce, Indianapolis and Arizona running back Edgerrin James, Denver safety Steve Atwater, Washington and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, New England cornerback Ty Law, Tampa Bay and Denver safety John Lynch, Jacksonville offensive tackle Tony Boselli, Seattle and Minnesota offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour, St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell and Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders coach Tom Flores.

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former longtime Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Personnel Gil Brandt are contributor finalists.

Robinson, a Delhi native who was an All-State tennis, baseball and football player at University Lab School in Baton Rouge (his father Dub Robinson coached the LSU tennis team), played on LSU’s 1958 national championship football team, played his entire pro career for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, winning championships in 1962, 1966 and 1969. Robinson and the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings. He was a six-time AFL All-Star, a five-time first-team All-AFL pick and two-time second team pick and was named to the AFL’s All-Time Team in 1970.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will meet on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta to elect the Class of 2019. There the modern-era finalists will be trimmed from 15 down to 10 and then from 10 down to 5. Then the remaining five finalists will be voted on individually “yes” or “no” and must receive 80 percent of the vote to earn induction.

The complete 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be revealed the night before Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. on CBS. 

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