Former Southern All-American Aeneas Williams was voted a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second year in a row, it was announced Friday.
A defensive back who played 14 seasons with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams before retiring in 2004, Williams is one of 15 modern-era finalists.
That group will be considered, along with two nominees from the Seniors Committee, for induction this summer in the Canton, Ohio-based hall.
The news wasn’t so good for former New Orleans Saints kicker Morten Andersen. A first-time eligible player and the NFL’s all-time scoring leader, Andersen was among 27 semifinalists pared from an original list of 127. But Andersen didn’t receive enough votes to join Williams as a finalist.
Williams, a New Orleans native, finished with 55 interceptions and 795 tackles. The Fortier High School graduate was a four-time All-Pro pick and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times.
He also was chosen to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1990s and was inducted into the Arizona Cardinals’ Ring of Honor in 2008. He is only the 13th person to receive that honor.
Joining Williams as modern-era finalists are four first-time eligible players: defensive end Michael Strahan, tackle Jonathan Ogden, guard/tackle Larry Allen and defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
The other finalists are running back Jerome Bettis; wide receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed; linebacker/defensive ends Charles Haley and Kevin Greene; guard Will Shields; coach Bill Parcells; and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.
The two senior nominees are defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson.
The 46-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet in New Orleans on Feb. 2 — the day before Super Bowl XLVII — to choose between four and seven members for this year’s class.
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