Notre Dame greats Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown headed to Pro Football Hall

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

The wait is finally over for both Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown.

The iconic former Notre Dame football players were both selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night in a class that also includes players Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields and Mick Tingelhoff, and contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.

Enshrinement ceremonies are set for Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio. Bettis and Brown represent the 11th and 12th Irish players selected to the Hall, tying USC for the most of any college. Seau is Southern Cal’s 12th selection.

Heisman Trophy winner Brown (1984-87) was a finalist for the sixth straight time, while Bettis was a finalist for the fifth consecutive year. Both took to Twitter Saturday night to celebrate the honor, with Bettis jumping the gun slightly before the official announcement was made.

Notable players not making the cut from the list of 18 finalists included Marvin Harrison, Terrell Davis, Orlando Pace, Kurt Warner and John Lynch.

Selected in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Raiders, Brown played 16 seasons with the franchise and one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

During his career, Brown set Raiders franchise records for receptions, receiving yards and punt return yards. At the time of his retirement, his 14,934 receiving yards were second-highest in NFL history; 1,094 receptions were third; and 100 TD catches were tied for third.

The Los Angeles Rams selected Bettis as the 10th overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft. Bettis joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons with the Steelers and was the franchise's leading rusher from 1996-2001 and 2003-04.

At the time of his retirement, his eight 1,000-plus yard seasons was tied for third-best in NFL history and his 13,662 rushing yards ranked fifth all-time in league annals. 

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis greets fans before an NFL wildcard playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 3. On Saturday night, the former Notre Dame All-American was welcomed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/GENE PUSKAR)

Jerome Bettis (2014)

Tim Brown (2014)

Dave Casper (2002)

Nick Buoniconti (2001)

Joe Montana (2000)

Alan Page (1988)

Paul Hornung (1986)

George Connor (1975)

Wayne Millner (1968)

George Trafton (1964)

Curly Lambeau (1963)

John “Blood” McNally (1963)