CANTON, OHIO (February 3, 2009) - Wide receiver Bob Hayes, guard Randall McDaniel, defensive end Bruce Smith, linebacker Derrick Thomas, owner Ralph Wilson, Jr., and defensive back Rod Woodson make up the Class of 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.
The six-man class was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Selection Committee who met today in Tampa, Florida. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.
Hayes, a gold medalist track star in the 1964 Summer Olympics, combined his world class speed with great hands. "Bullet Bob," a three-time All-Pro pick, caught 371 career passes for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns.
McDaniel was named All-Pro nine straight seasons and voted to a record 12 consecutive AFC-NFC Pro Bowls during his 14-season career with the Minnesota Vikings (1988-1999) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-01).
Smith, the first overall pick in the 1985 draft by the Buffalo Bills, is the NFL's all-time sack leader with 200 career sacks. A member of both the NFL's All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s, Smith was named first-team All-Pro nine times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
Thomas amassed more sacks during the 1990s than any other player. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, named All-NFL three times, and was All-AFC seven times in an eight-year stretch.
Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills in 1959 and has watched his team win back-to-back AFL titles in the mid-1960s and become the only team ever to advance to four consecutive Super Bowls. He was an integral part of the AFL's success and has also served on a number of important NFL committees over the years.
Woodson, a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994 and selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, intercepted 71 passes which he returned for an NFL record 1,483 yards and a record 12 touchdowns. He was named All-Pro six times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.