In Canton, Ohio, nine outstanding football players have been chosen for the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. On January 17, the Hall’s 49-person Selection Committee held a virtual meeting to conduct the yearly vote.
The new group of players joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced during the “NFL Honors,” a two-hour awards show that aired nationally on NFL Network, NBC, and Peacock on Thursday night. The latest inductees are cornerback/safety RONDÉ BARBER, coach DON CORYELL, linebacker CHUCK HOWLEY, defensive end/defensive tackle/nose tackle JOE KLECKO, cornerback DARRELLE REVIS, cornerback KEN RILEY, offensive tackle JOE THOMAS, linebacker ZACH THOMAS, and linebacker/defensive end DEMARCUS WARE.
Barber, Howley, Klecko, Revis, Joe Thomas, Zach Thomas, and Ware found out they were chosen for the Hall of Fame when a current Hall of Famer surprised them by knocking on their door. You can watch these heartwarming moments on Saturday during a one-hour special on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.Coryell and Riley’s families were informed of their induction into the Hall of Fame through a phone call from Hall of Fame President Jim Porter and another Hall of Famer.
The yearly selection meeting marked the end of the year-long selection process. The newly chosen Hall of Famers were selected from a group of 19 Finalists previously determined by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. The accounting firm EY handled all vote tabulations throughout the process, including the virtual meeting.
The Class of 2023 will officially become members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 5, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Tickets for the Enshrinement event will be available for purchase in the upcoming weeks.
Here’s a closer look at the Class of 2023 Finalist:
- Position: Cornerback/Safety
- Height: 5-10 | Weight: 186
- NFL career: 1997-2012 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Seasons: 16 | Games: 241
- College: Virginia
- Drafted: 3rd Round (66th overall) in 1997
- Born: April 7, 1975, in Blacksburg, Va.
- Remarkable durability and productivity throughout a 16-season career, playing in 241 regular-season games and starting 215 consecutive games.
- This player has the most interceptions in the regular season for the Tampa Bay team, with a total of 47 interceptions. He returned those interceptions for a remarkable 923 yards and scored eight touchdowns.
- Totaled 14 defensive and special teams touchdowns, including interceptions, fumble recoveries, and special teams plays.
- Holds the NFL record for the most sacks by a cornerback.
- Unique in NFL history as the only player with at least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks.
- Achieved three-time All-Pro and five Pro Bowl selections.
- Honored as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
- This player had the most interceptions in the NFL in 2001, grabbing a total of 10 interceptions. He also led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in interceptions six times
- Served as team captain nine times and was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011.
- Full name is Jamael Oronde Barber.
- Position: Coach
- NFL Career: During his time in the NFL, this individual served as a coach from 1973 to 1977 Louis Cardinals and later from 1978 to 1986 the San Diego Chargers. He worked as a coach for these two teams during those periods.
- Seasons: 14 | Games: 195
- College: Washington
- Born: Oct. 17, 1924, in Seattle
- Died: July 1, 2010, Calif.
- This coach led both the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers to the playoffs after they had gone without reaching the postseason for a long time. He helped both teams end their droughts by making it to the playoffs.
- Achieved overall winning records with both teams.
- Named AP’s NFL Coach of the Year in 1974, UPI’s and PFWA’s NFC Coach of the Year in 1974, and PFWA’s AFC Coach of the Year in 1979.
- Led the Cardinals to NFC East Division titles in 1974 and 1975, and the Chargers to AFC West Division titles from 1979 to 1981.
- Known for his “Air Coryell” offensive strategy, leading the league in passing yardage seven times in nine seasons.
- Won 100 games as a coach at both the collegiate (127-24-3) and professional (114-89-1) levels.
- Influential in mentoring future Hall of Fame coaches Joe Gibbs and John Madden as college assistants under him.
- Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and served in the U.S. Army.
- Position: Linebacker
- Height: 6-3 | Weight: 228
- NFL Career: Played for the Chicago Bears from 1958 to 1959 and the Dallas Cowboys from 1961 to 1973
- Seasons: 15 | Games: 180
- College: West Virginia
- Drafted: Selected 7th overall in the 1958 NFL Draft
- Born: June 28, 1936, in Wheeling
- This player was chosen three times as part of the All-Southern Conference team and was named the conference’s Player of the Year in 1957 while playing at West Virginia University.
- Retired after two seasons due to a career-threatening knee injury during training camp in 1959 but made a successful comeback in 1961 after playing in a West Virginia alumni game.
- Traded to the Dallas Cowboys before the 1961 season.
- Named MVP of Super Bowl V, becoming the first defensive player and non-quarterback to win the award. He is also the only player from a losing team to be named Super Bowl MVP.
- At the end of his career, this player had a total of 25 interceptions and scored two touchdownsEarned six Pro Bowl selections (1966-1970, 1972) and five First-team All-Pro honors (1966-1970) and one Second-team All-Pro in 1971.
- Inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1977.
- Position: Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, Nose Tackle
- Height: 6-3 | Weight: 263
- NFL Career: Played for the New York Jets from 1977 to 1987 and the Indianapolis Colts in 1988
- Seasons: 12 | Games: 155
- College: Temple
- Drafted: Selected 144th overall in the 1977 NFL Draft by the New York Jets
- Born: Oct. 15, 1953, in Chester, Pa.
- Part of the “New York Sack Exchange” defensive line, featuring Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau, and Marty Lyons, which was one of the top in the NFL.
- Named UPI NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981 and led the league with 20.5 sacks.
- Earned First-team All-Pro honors twice (1981, 1985) and made four Pro Bowl appearances (1982, 1984-1986).
- Became the second player in NFL history (after Hall of Famer Frank Gifford) to be selected to the Pro Bowl at three different positions after moving to nose tackle in 1985.
- This player’s jersey number (#73) is among just five that the New York Jets have retired. The other four retired numbers belong to Dennis Byrd, Joe Namath, Don Maynard, and Curtis Martin, who are all Hall of Famers. Additionally, he was honored by being inducted into the Temple University Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
- Position: Cornerback
- Height: 5-11 | Weight: 198
- NFL Career: Played for the New York Jets from 2007 to 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, the New England Patriots in 2014, the New York Jets again from 2015 to 2016, and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017.
- Seasons: 11 | Games: 145
- College: Pittsburgh
- Drafted: Selected 14th overall in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
- Born: July 14, 1985, in Aliquippa, Pa.
- Made an immediate impact during his rookie season, starting all 16 games and earning a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
- Played a key role in the New England Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, starting at left cornerback and contributing with one sack and one solo tackle.
- Received First-team All-Pro honors four times (2009-2012) and was selected to participate in seven Pro Bowls (2009-2012, 2014-2016).
- Recognized as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
- Named the New York Jets’ team MVP in 2009 and 2011.
- Led the NFL in passes defensed with 31 in 2009 and was a runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award in the same year.
- Position: Cornerback
- Height: 5-11 | Weight: 181
- NFL Career:This player was a part of the Cincinnati Bengals team from 1969 to 1983.
- Seasons: 15 | Games: 207
- College: Florida A&M
- Drafted: Selected 135th overall in the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals
- Born: Aug. 6, 1947, in Bartow, Fla.
- Died: June 7, 2020, in Bartow, Fla.
- Known by various nicknames: “The Rattler,” “Mr. Bengal,” and “Mr. Consistency.”
- Originally played as a quarterback at Florida A&M but transitioned to cornerback in the NFL.
- Had a remarkable 15-season NFL career, playing 207 games and amassing 65 interceptions.
- Earned recognition as AP All-Pro in 1983 and AP All-AFC in 1975 and 1976.
- Held or shared six Cincinnati team records until his final season with the Bengals.
- During his first year in the team, this player was the one who had the most kickoff return yards.
- Topped the AFC in interceptions in 1976, 1982, and 1983.
- Led the Bengals in interceptions seven times during his career (1969, 1974-1976, 1981-1983).
- Ranks fifth (tied with Charles Woodson) on the NFL’s career interceptions list.
- Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown praised this player as a “model football player and a true gentleman.”
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- Height: 6-6 | Weight: 312
- NFL Career: Played for the Cleveland Browns from 2007 to 2017
- Seasons: 11 | Games: 167
- College: Wisconsin
- Drafted: Selected third overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns
- Born: Dec. 4, 1984, in Brookfield, Wisc.
- During his final year at the University of Wisconsin, this player was honored with the Outland Trophy, which is given to the best interior lineman in the country.
- Made an impressive impact in his rookie season, starting at left tackle for all 16 games for the Browns and finished as the runner-up for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
- Known for his agility, strength, and durability, he set an NFL record by playing 10,363 consecutive snaps, a streak that ended in October 2017 after suffering a triceps tear.
- Throughout his impressive career, this player gave up just 30 sacks, even though he faced many Hall of Fame sack specialists and top pass rushers from different teams.
- Made history as the first offensive lineman in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons.
- This player received First-team All-Pro honors on six occasions (in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015) and Second-team All-Pro honors twice (in 2008 and 2012).
- Recognized as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
- Known for his active involvement in the community, he received the Cleveland Browns’ Walter Payton Man of the Year award three times (2010, 2012, 2016).
- Position: Linebacker
- Height: 5-11 | Weight: 235
- NFL Career: Played for the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 2007 and the Dallas Cowboys in 2008
- Seasons: 13 | Games: 184
- College: Texas Tech
- Drafted: Selected 154th overall in the 1996 NFL Draft
- Born: Sept. 1, 1973, in Pampa, Texas
- Showed immediate impact as a versatile and instinctive middle linebacker, earning team MVP honors and being named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1996.
- Led the Dolphins in tackles for 10 seasons and consistently recorded 100 tackles each season for his first 11 years.
- Delivered an exceptional performance with 22 tackles (14 solo) in a 2001 playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.
- Set a Dolphins’ career record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns and accumulated 17 interceptions for 170 yards in his career.
- Registered 20.5 career sacks and holds the record for the most starts (168) by a Dolphins’ defensive player.
- This player became the first in his team’s history to win the Leadership Award (voted by teammates) three times.
- Earned First-team All-Pro honors five times (1998-1999, 2002-2003, 2006) and Second-team All-Pro twice (2001, 2005).
- Voted to seven Pro Bowls during his career.
- Position: Linebacker/Defensive End
- Height: 6-4 | Weight: 258
- NFL Career: Played for the Dallas Cowboys from 2005 to 2013 and the Denver Broncos from 2014 to 2016
- Seasons: 12 | Games: 178
- College: Troy State
- Drafted: Selected 11th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft
- Born: July 31, 1982, in Auburn, Ala.
- Entered the NFL as an underdog in 2005 but proved himself by starting all 16 games at right outside linebacker and leading the team in sacks with eight.
- Led the Cowboys in sacks for eight seasons from 2005 to 2012.
- Topped the NFL in sacks with 20 in 2008 and 15.5 in 2010.
- Helped lead his teams to five playoff appearances and was part of the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, making significant contributions with three solo tackles.
- Career statistics include 138.5 sacks, three interceptions for 44 return yards and one touchdown, and two fumble returns for touchdowns.
- This player has the most career sacks in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, with an impressive 117 sacks.
- He was voted as a first-team All-Pro four times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011) and as a second-team All-Pro three times (in 2006, 2010, and 2012).
- Moreover, he earned the distinction of being selected to nine Pro Bowls (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016) and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
During the annual selection meeting, the Coach/Contributor and Senior Finalists were voted either “yes” or “no” for election, requiring at least 80% support from the Committee to be elected. The Modern-Era Finalists were first reduced from 15 to 10, and then from 10 to five during the meeting. They also needed an 80% positive vote to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the newly elected Class of 2023, the Hall of Fame’s membership now totals 371.