Local man selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame


Local man selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Curley Culp, who revolutionized the nose tackle position in the NFL, was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Culp, who is from Yuma and played at Arizona State, was one of the two senior nominees.

Former Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams was among the 15 modern-day finalists and made it to the final 10 for the second consecutive year. He was not among the final five, however.

Also chosen to the Hall of Fame were three first-year candidates: guard Larry Allen, tackle Jonathan Ogden and defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

The other two selections were coach Bill Parcells and receiver Cris Carter.

It was the first time Culp has been a finalist. He played 14 seasons for the Chiefs, Oilers and Lions. Linebacker Dave Robinson, who played for the Packers and Redskins, also made it as a senior-committee nominee.

Culp first came to prominence with the Chiefs, where he was part of a dominant defense that led the franchise to a Super Bowl title.

"Curley was a dominating force on the defensive line for the Super Bowl IV championship team and one of many great players that helped build the tradition and foundation of the Kansas City Chiefs," the team's chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing him take his rightful place in Canton."

Culp is the second Arizonan and Arizona State product selected in the past four years. Guard Randall McDaniel, who played at Avondale Agua Fria High and ASU, was the first. He was inducted into the Hall in 2009.

Culp is one of the great athletes in the state's history. At ASU, he was an All-America football player and won the NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship in 1967.

Culp lives in Austin, Texas, and works for a transportation company.

Parcells had to wait a while, earning a bust in Canton on his fourth try. He reversed the fortunes of four teams, coaching the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, most notably leading the Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991.

Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders. He amassed 96½ career sacks despite playing on the interior of the defensive line. He was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping Tampa Bay claim its first division title in 18 years.

Carter played 16 seasons, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career. He caught at least 70 passes in 10 seasons, and totaled 130 touchdown receptions from 13 passers.

Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with the Cowboys. He played every position on the offensive line except center and was a first-team All-Pro seven seasons in a row.

Ogden spent a dozen seasons with the Ravens, a lineman who led the way for Jamal Lewis to become just the fifth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Ogden was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.

Robinson played on the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s, starting at outside linebacker in coach Vince Lombardi's victories in the first two Super Bowls.

Almost as noteworthy were the finalists who didn't get in, including running back Jerome Bettis and owners Art Modell and Edward DeBartolo Jr.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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