Two former LSU All-Americans, a former New Orleans Saints linebacker and a Louisiana native have moved their helmets one step closer to Canton.
The veteran NFL linemen from LSU, Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae, were among the 25 modern-era semifinalists selected Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced. Also on the list was first-year eligible safety Ed Reed, a St. Rose native, and the late New Orleans Saints linebacker Sam Mills.
Former Saints defensive tackle La’Roi Glover was also on the of 102 nominees but did not make the list of semifinalists.
The list will be trimmed to 15 finalists in January, who must eventually receive at least 80 percent of the vote to be elected to the Hall of Fame. That final vote will take place Feb. 2 in Atlanta, the day before Super Bowl LIII.
Faneca made the list of finalists for the Class of 2018 in January but was not elected. The Rosenberg, Texas, native played guard for LSU from 1995-97, earning All-American honors as a sophomore and junior. Faneca played 13 seasons in the NFL with Pittsburgh, the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, earning six first-team All-Pro honors and nine Pro Bowl selections.
Mawae, who was born in Savannah, Georgia, but grew up in Leesville, was a three-time All-Southeastern Conference pick during his LSU career (1990-93) and was an All-American as a senior.
Mawae played 16 NFL seasons with Seattle, the New York Jets and Arizona, earning three first-team All-Pro honors and eight trips to the Pro Bowl. His 238 games started ranks 21st all time, and like Faneca he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s team of the decade (2000s) first team.
Reed, who prepped at Destrehan and was an All-American at Miami, played safety for 12 NFL seasons, the first 11 with Baltimore and the last with the New York Jets. A five-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, Reed ranks seventh in NFL history with 64 career interceptions.
Mills, who died in 2005, played 12 NFL seasons, the first nine with the Saints from 1986-94. A five-time Pro Bowler, Mills ranks 20th with 1,265 career tackles.
Also being considered by the hall of fame selection committee on Feb. 2 will be former LSU great Johnny Robinson. A star at University High and on LSU’s 1958 national championship team, Robinson played safety for the Kansas Chiefs from 1960-71, where he was a six-time All-Pro selection. Robinson’s 57 career interceptions still rank 13th all-time.
Robinson’s name was the only one put forward in August by the Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee. Though not a guarantee that Robinson will be selected, at least one senior committee nominee has been enshrined every year dating back to 1976.