Four players with Georgia ties eligible for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Georgia Bulldogs Hines Ward and Richard Seymour are among the 25 semifinalists of the modern era for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also on the list, which will be cut to 15 on Jan. 2, are previous finalists Clay Matthews, who played in 278 games over an 19 NFL seasons — three of them in Atlanta — and Bryant Young, a former defensive tackle who is the Falcons’ defensive line coach.

Ward, who played his entire 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named the 2006 Super Bowl MVP.  (He also played quarterback in Athens and set the Georgia Bowl record for passing yards.) Seymour, an All-American who was the sixth overall pick in 2001, is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots.

Five former players will be elected to the 2020 Class on Feb. 1, the day before the Super Bowl. They will be inducted into the Canton, Ohio, shrine in August.

The semifinalists, in alphabetical order:

• Steve Atwater, safety 
• Carl Banks, linebacker 
• Ronde Barber, cornerback/safety 
• Tony Boselli, tackle
• Isaac Bruce, wide receiver
• LeRoy Butler, safety
• Alan Faneca, guard
• Torry Holt, wide receiver
• Steve Hutchinson, guard 
• Edgerrin James, running back 
• John Lynch, safety 
• Clay Matthews, linebacker 
• Sam Mills, linebacker 
• Troy Polamalu*, safety 
• Simeon Rice, defensive end 
• Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle 
• Steve Tasker, wide receiver/special teamer 
• Fred Taylor, running back 
• Zach Thomas, linebacker 
• Hines Ward, wide receiver 
• Ricky Watters, running back 
• Reggie Wayne*, wide receiver 
• Patrick Willis*, linebacker 
• Darren Woodson, safety 
• Bryant Young, defensive tackle 
* — first-year eligible players