Steve Smith Sr. not the player nominated for the Hall of Fame

6 former Bills listed as nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2018 class

-Frank Cooney, founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com, is in his sixth decade covering football and third decade as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

Saturday's early story included perseverance; despite being one of the top collegiate centers in the country coming out of North Carolina in 1998, he was not selected in that year's NFL Draft. He would return to start all 16 games the following season. The Steve Smith who retired after playing six seasons in the National Football League with the Giants, Eagles and Rams.

Overall, there are 108 modern-era players and coaches nominated. Another Vigor alumnus, former Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile, is one of the two players nominated for the Class of 2018 by the Senior Selection Committee.

Nominees for induction must have played their last game at least five years ago.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its initial list of 108 nominees for the 2018 class on Monday night, and on it were receiving greats like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Hines Ward, and Steve Smith.

Between four and eight of those finalists will be inducted into the hall of fame next August.

The list of nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November, then to 15 finalists in January.

Butler, Sharpe, Driver and Holmgren are all members of the Packers Hall of Fame. His collection of accolades rivals anybody who's ever played the game: two Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl MVP, two-time National Football League defensive Player of the Year, seven first-team all-pro selections, 13 Pro Bowls and member of the NFL's all-decade team for the 2000s.

At the suggestion of former college roommate Nate Hobgood-Chittick, then-Colts general manager Bill Polian chose to give Saturday a tryout the following year. Both Thomas and Webb will have to survive a lengthy selection process.

The announcement of next year's inductees takes place during Super Bowl weekend, which will be the first weekend in February 2018.

Of the 11 players ahead of James on the rushing charts, 10 have bronze busts in Canton, Ohio. Any person, including the 48 elite members of the Selection Committee may place in nomination any eligible players, coaches or contributors.

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