Ben Davis H.S. product Morten Andersen among Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017
HOUSTON, Texas – The Colts weren’t involved with the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, but Indianapolis was represented nonetheless.
Included in the latest collection of luminaries is placekicker Morten Andersen, who attended Ben Davis High School in 1977 as an exchange student from Denmark. That’s when he first tried his hand at football, American style, and it launched him on a path that finally delivered him to Canton, Ohio.
Andersen, 56, was a modern-day finalist for a fourth consecutive year and finally garnered the required support. His resume is daunting, and includes all-time NFL records for games played (382), points (2,544) field goals made (709) and field goals attempted (709). His career spanned 25 seasons and included stints with the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and two tours with the Atlanta Falcons.
Andersen joins Jan Stenerud (Class of 1991) as the only pure placekickers in the Hall of Fame.
Joining Andersen on the Class of 2017: running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, defensive end Jason Taylor, quarterback Kurt Warner, safety Kenny Easley (senior candidate) and Jerry Jones (contributors candidate).
Tomlinson and Taylor were in their first year of eligibility.
Failing to earn the necessary support were offensive tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby, safeties Brian Dawkins and John Lynch, center Kevin Mawae, wide receivers Terrell Owens and Isaac Bruce, guard Alan Faneca, cornerback Ty Law, coach Don Coryell and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Owens reacted strongly after falling short for a second consecutive season.
Colts in the pipeline: While no Colts were among the 15 modern-day finalists for the Class of 2017, they should have representation in the coming years.
Running back Edgerrin James was a modern-day finalist last year, but failed to make the cut this year. He should return to the room next year and his path to enshrinement should be somewhat eased now that Davis and Tomlinson are off the board. James ranks 12th in NFL history with 12,246 yards, and 10 of the 11 players ahead of him are now are in the Hall of Fame. The only exception is Colts’ running back Frank Gore, who’s still active.
Also, consider Colts whose eligibility nears: center Jeff Saturday next year, tight end Dallas Clark in 2019, wide receiver Reggie Wayne in 2020 and quarterback Peyton Manning in 2021.
Joining Saturday as first-year candidates in 2018: linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, wide receivers Randy Moss and Donald, cornerback Rhonde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson and center Matt Birk.