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Syracuse football alum Dwight Freeney named 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Is Canton calling another Orangeman?

Syracuse Orange v Pitt Panthers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Eight distinguished members of Syracuse Orange football are already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio - tied for seventh-most among all colleges.

Dwight Freeney may soon move them up to sixth.

The 'Cuse alum was just unveiled as a finalist for the HOF Induction Class of 2024:

Freeney suited up for Paul Pasqualoni's Orange from 1998-2001 and is one of the most decorated defensemen in program history. Take a look at his senior year stats and you might be convinced the Greatest Show on Turf was in Syracuse, not St. Louis:

  • 17.5 sacks, a program record and most in the nation
  • Eight forced fumbles, a Big East single-season record
  • Unanimous All-American
  • Lombardi Award - Nation's Best Lineman/Linebacker
  • Chuck Bednarik Award - National Defensive Player of the Year

After being drafted 11th overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2002, Freeney's talent translated well to the NFL, winning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. He'd go on to lead the league in sacks in just his third year - the first of three times he earned an All-Pro designation.

Dwight also made seven Pro Bowls and helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears, recovering a fumble in the victory.

Indianapolis Colts Dwight Freeney, Super Bowl XLI SetNumber: X77400 TK1 R7

Freeney won two more conference championships over his 16-year Pro career, eventually returning to the Colts to retire in 2018. He finished with 125.5 sacks and 47 forced fumbles - both the most of any SU graduate in the NFL.

This past fall, Freeney was honored by SU for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame - becoming their 10th representative in Atlanta. During that ceremony, it was also announced that Dwight's #54 jersey would be retired and hung in the Dome rafters sometime during the 2024 season.

It'd be even more special to welcome him back as a Pro Hall of Famer.

The HOF Class of 2024 will be unveiled February 8 at 9pm in Las Vegas as part of Super Bowl week. The announcements will be broadcast on CBS and NFL Network.

If Freeney receives at least 80% of votes from the selection committee, he will be given his Gold jacket and plaque in Canton on August 3.