The Pro Football Hall of Fame has officially begun the process for determining its Class of 2013. Earlier Thursday they released a list of 127 nominees, including 13 first-year eligible candidates. There are quite a few players with 49ers connections, some more so than others.
The most notable 49ers player in the first year group is defensive lineman Bryant Young. He is one of the 49ers all-time greats, but this year's class is deep enough that it might take BY some time. And of course, given how much 49ers fans love him, I have to wonder how much the national media viewed him on a regular basis. He was on some solid 49ers squads, but was a rookie the year they won their last Super Bowl.
Here are the other nominees with 49ers connections (time with 49ers in parenthesis):
Roger Craig, RB (1983-1990) - past finalist
Ricky Watters, RB(1992-1994)
Larry Allen, OG (2006-2007) - first year
Charles Haley, DE/LB (1986-1991, 1999) - past finalist
Charles Mann, DE (1994)
Fred Smerlas, NT (1990)
Ted Washington, DT (1991-1993)
Kevin Greene, LB (1997) - past finalist
Gary Anderson, K (1997)
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. (1979-2000) - past finalist
It's going to be a tough going with a strong first year nominee class that includes Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp, among others. Think we'll see any 49ers getting in the door this year? Eddie DeBartolo has had his chances in the past, but seems to be slipping while older owners are getting in. The same holds true for Roger Craig amidst the rest of the newer player nominees.