While the last couple decades haven’t been incredibly kind to Syracuse Orange football, that doesn’t mean the program’s history is lost on us — or the Pro Football Hall of Fame, apparently.
Included among the 122 modern-era nominees for the class of 2022? SU alums Donovan McNabb and Gary Anderson.
BREAKING: The Modern-Era nominees for the Class of 2022 have been unveiled. The list is comprised of 122 players. Among the group are 10 first-year eligible players.— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) September 22, 2021
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This is not the first time either player has been eligible for the Hall of Fame, but their inclusion here is notable nonetheless.
Over the course of his 13-year career, McNabb compiled 37,276 passing yards (25th all-time) and 234 passing TDs (31st), while collecting over 3,400 rushing yards and another 29 TDs on the ground. He was among a handful of QBs in the late 1990s and early 2000s to usher in an era of increased mobility from the position. He was just the third Black quarterback to start in the Super Bowl when he was under center for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Anderson was in the league from 1982 to 2004, and the kicker is third on the career points list with 2,434. He’s also third in games played (353), fourth in extra points made (820), and third in career field goals (538).
Competition will be fierce once again for both players to make the cut. McNabb is arguably the top QB nominated (though Randall Cunningham and Steve McNair both inspire debate). It’s a loaded running back class, however, and other positions like wide receiver, offensive line and defensive back seem loaded as well.
If either player makes the cut this year or in the future, it’ll push Syracuse into the top five colleges by inductees. SU currently has eight, which is tied for seventh all-time with Alabama. A ninth would tie the Orange with Miami and Pitt for No. 5 on the list. If both players get in, they’d tie with Ohio State for fourth. You can also keep future spots warm for Dwight Freeney and Chandler Jones as well, meaning there’s a plausible future in the next 15 years where Syracuse has more Hall-of-Famers than all but two or three schools.
But in the meantime, good luck to McNabb and Anderson this time around.