Four former players and five ex-coaches with connections to the Seahawks and the state of Washington were among 99 players and 14 coaches nominated Wednesday for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The Class of 2015 list includes two former Seahawks, center Kevin Mawae and cornerback Shawn Springs, who are eligible for the first time.
The Seahawks selected Mawae with their second pick in the 1994 draft out of LSU. He played for the club through 1997, making 59 starts among 62 appearances. Maewe signed with the New York Jets in 1998 free agency and made eight Pro Bowl teams after leaving Seattle.
Springs came to Seattle in 1997 as its first-round pick (third overall) out of Ohio State. He played for the Seahawks through 2003, making 88 starts in 93 games. He signed with the Washington Redskins in free agency in 2004.
Other first-time nominees are QB Kurt Warner, WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, RBs Edgerrin James and Jamal Lewis, OLs Jon Jansen, Orlando Pace, Chris Samuels and Tra Thomas, DL Jevon Kearse, LB Junior Seau, DB Ty Law and PK Jason Elam.
From the list of 99 players and 14 coaches, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinal nominees that will be announced in late November. That semifinalist list will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January.
Former players, both holdovers, with local ties on the ballot are RBs Shaun Alexander and Ricky Watters. Alexander scored 112 touchdowns for the Seahawks between 2000-07, most in franchise history.
The ex-coaches are Chuck Knox, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Don Coryell and Lou Saban. Knox’s Seahawks reached the AFC Championship game in 1984 and Holmren’s 2005 team played in Super Bowl XL. Coryell is a Washington native (Lincoln High School, University of Washington), who coached the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers. Saban served as a UW assistant in 1953-54 under Johnny Cherberg.
Three players who spent a majority of their careers with the the Seahawks are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: WR Steve Largent (1976-89), inducted in 1995; DT Cortez Kennedy (1990-00), inducted in 2012; and OT Walter Jones (1997-09), inducted last July.