NEW ORLEANS — Former Southern University All-American Aeneas Williams will have to wait at least one more year to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Williams, a 14-year NFL veteran who played cornerback and safety for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams, made the final 10 from among a list of modern-era finalists for the second straight year Saturday.
But he failed to get enough support from the 43-person Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which met at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, when the list was pared to five for inclusion in the Class of 2013.
Selected Saturday from the modern-day finalists were guard/tackle Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, tackle Jonathan Ogden, coach Bill Parcells and defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson were elected as seniors nominees.
Williams, a semifinalist in 2010 and ’11 before moving up to the list of finalists the last two years, will get another shot at the Hall next winter when the committee meets in New York City the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.
“I didn’t make it in the Big Easy, so maybe I’ll make it in the Big Apple,” an upbeat Williams said of not being elected in his hometown of New Orleans. “I made the final 10 again, so I’m excited about that … no doubt.
“There are a lot of guys on that committee who remember how I played the game,” he said.
“It’s just pretty amazing to me to even be considered with some of the best to ever play the game.”
Williams was a member of the All-Decade team of the 1990s during a stellar 10-year stay with the Cardinals from 1991-2000 before finishing his career with the Rams from 2001-04.
Williams, who turned 45 last Tuesday, was a three-time All-Pro pick who also was voted to eight Pro Bowls.
An effective shutdown cornerback for 12 seasons before switching to safety for his final two years, he had 55 career interceptions — bringing nine back for touchdowns. He also returned three fumbles for scores.
The ball-hawking Williams recorded an interception in every season but his last and had five or more in a season six times. His nine pick-sixes was tied for second all-time when he retired following the 2004 season.
He also shared the NFL record for longest fumble return when he ran 104 yards for a score as a member of the Cardinals against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 5, 2000.
While it wasn’t enough to get him in this time, Williams said he was extremely happy for several of this year’s inductees — including Allen, Carter, Ogden and Sapp — because they were contemporaries of his.
“I’m really excited for Cris Carter because he’s been waiting for awhile to get in,” Williams said. “These are some of the greatest players ever at their positions, so it’s a great class.
“It’s a hard decision for the selection committee and I applaud them for their work,” he added. “It’s a tough job, I’m sure. So I’m going to celebrate this class and hope we can celebrate (his induction) next year.”
The enshrinement ceremony will be held Saturday, Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio, with the annual Hall of Fame Game, which kicks off the NFL’s preseason schedule, set for the next night.
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