Junior Seau, the beloved San Diego native and Chargers linebacker has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is the first year he is eligible for nomination. As all San Diego Charger fans know, Junior Seau was the face of the Chargers from the moment he was taken in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft until he was released in 2002. After a brief stint with the Dolphins (’03 – ’05) and then the Patriots (’06 to ’09), Junior returned home to San Diego to retire. I remember Junior being one of the few standouts in our only trip to the Super Bowl and he was honored for his efforts by being inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame and his number – #55 was retired as well. Junior battled mental issues and broke the heart of Chargers fans when he committed suicide with a gunshot wound to the chest in 2012 . Junior was just 43.
A total of 99 players and 14 coaches comprise the 113 nominees. A modern-era player or coach must be retired at least five consecutive seasons to be eligible.
The selection committee will choose 25 candidates as semifinalists in late November. That list will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January. The 2015 class will be voted on the day before the Super Bowl.
Between four and eight new members will be selected. Inductions will be in August at Canton, Ohio, site of the Hall of Fame.
Another San Diego favorite, coach Don Coryell is also among the 2015 nominees. Watching both of these greats, who are now gone, get inducted, would be a wonderful day for Charger fans and football fans in general.