INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe the third time’s the charm for Reggie Wayne.
One of the most prolific wide receivers in Indianapolis Colts and NFL history is one of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022.
It’s Wayne’s third year of eligibility and the third time he’s been one of 15 modern-era finalists. He reached the final 10 in last year’s voting process.
Another record-setting Colt – Robert Mathis – failed to make the cut to the final 15. The team’s career sack leader is in his first year of eligibility.
Wayne’s candidacy is rooted in two-pronged success during his 14-year career. He:
- ranks 10th in league history in both receptions (1,070) and yards (14,345).
- ranks 3rd in postseason history with 93 receptions and 6th with 1,254 yards.
In team history, Wayne trails only Marvin Harrison, a member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
One of Wayne’s invaluable assets came as a leader in the locker room and on the practice field. He benefitted from playing alongside Harrison, and was quick to share that experience with other younger Colt receivers.
That included T.Y. Hilton. In 2012, Hilton was added to the roster as a third-round draft pick. Wayne was heading into his 12th season.
“Reggie’s a great guy, man, on the field, off the field,’’ Hilton said Thursday prior to the Final 15 announcement. “He’s a big brother to me, a guy I can lean on.
“He means more to me than anything and I pray and hope he gets that nod. He’s well-deserving of it. His hard work, his dedication to the sport, just bringing me in when he didn’t have to, taking me under his wing.
“I really hope he gets it.’’
Wayne is bidding to join several former teammates and colleagues in Canton, Ohio: quarterback Peyton Manning (Class of 2021), running back Edgerrin James (Class of 2020), Harrison, coach Tony Dungy (Class of 2016) and president/general manager Bill Polian (Class of 2015).
The Selection Committee (I am a member) will meet virtually Jan. 18 to determine the Class of 2022.
The Final 15 modern-era candidates, including each player’s years of eligibility:
- Wayne (3)
- DE Jared Allen (2)
- OT Willie Anderson (9)
- DB Ronde Barber (5)
- OT Tony Boselli (16)
- S Leroy Butler (16)
- WR/KR/PR Devin Hester (1)
- WR Torry Holt (8)
- WR Andre Johnson (1)
- LB Sam Mills (20)
- DL Richard Seymour (5)
- LB Zach Thomas (9)
- LB/DE DeMarcus Ware (1)
- LB Patrick Willis (3)
- DT/DE Bryant Young (10)
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.