The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its semifinalists for its Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and former Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James is among the newest group of 26 former players:
It’s the 3rd year of eligibility for James, who’s been both a semifinalist (2014) and a finalist (2015) the past two years.
As the NFL’s 12th all-time career rushing leader, James rushed for 12,246 total rushing yards on 3,028 carries, while also adding 80 rushing touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons.
However, he was also a major asset in the passing game as both a receiver and blocker, amassing 3,364 receiving yards on 433 career receptions, as well as 11 receiving touchdowns–while delivering punishing blocks in the process.
While James fell just one season short of winning a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006, he finished as the Indianapolis Colts all-time rushing leader in attempts (2,188), rushing yards (9,226) and rushing touchdowns (64). He was later inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 2012.
Not to mention, James was a 1x 1st-Team All-Pro, 2x 2nd-Team All-Pro, 2x NFL Rushing Yards Leader, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, 4x Pro Bowler, and member of the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.
After being drafted with the 4th overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft, James–along with Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison helped form the NFL’s first set of ‘triplets’, as the Colts became an offensive force to be reckoned–setting up the makings of a perennial juggernaut:
"“While Peyton Manning provided the brains, Marvin Harrison the quiet production, it was James with his dreads, gold teeth, and overall flare that provided his Indy “older brothers” with some much needed swagger and officially capped the transformation of a football city.”"
Honestly, pre-ACL tear James was one of the greatest running backs I’ve ever had the tremendous fortune of watching play. It’s scary to think what could’ve also been.
He was that great. [See for yourself]
Even after the injury, James went on to rush for over 1,000 yards in 5 of his remaining 9 NFL seasons and even made the Pro Bowl in both 2004 and 2005.
He was the complete package as far as great running backs are concerned with his ability to run, catch, and block at such a high level. His vision, ability to cut, and always seemingly churn out positive yards was also a key cog to the Colts consistently moving the chains on what was one of the league’s all-time prolific offenses.
Obviously, this is a great honor for James and likely will be another stop on his Hall of Fame road before he’s named a finalist again this year. Only this time around, we’re hoping that James is ultimately nominated as part of the newest Hall of Fame Class.
It’s worth noting that former Colts offensive guard Chris Hinton was also named a semifinalist.
The former 3x All-Pro and 7x Pro Bowler played with the Colts from 1983-89 and was consistently among the league’s best offensive lineman of his era. He was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2001.