NFL Hall of Fame welcomes Sanders, Sharpe and 5 others

Defensive end Richard Dent, running back Marshall Faulk, linebackers Chris Hanburger and Les Richter, contributor Ed Sabol, cornerback Deion Sanders, and tight end Shannon Sharpe make up the Class of 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.

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    Former NFL players Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk (L) and Shannon Sharpe (R) stand together after they were named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Dallas, Texas February 5, 2011.
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The Pro Football Hall of Fame is set to expand its membership to seven new members.

Saturday afternoon, the 44 member committee elected Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter and Ed Sabol to join the NFL's elite in Canton, Ohio.

Marshall Faulk appeared in two Super Bowls and won one with the 1999 St. Louis Rams, was the 1994 offensive rookie of the year, 2000 NFL most valuable player and a three-time offensive player of the year (1999-2001).

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Deion "Prime Time" Sanders was selected to eight Pro Bowls, was a first team All Pro nine times, and had 53 career interceptions. His stardom in the NFL was apparent from his very first game when he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown in his NFL debut. Sanders won two Super Bowls, one with the San Francisco 49ers and one with the Dallas Cowboys.

Shannon Sharpe was a seventh round pick in the 1990 NFL draft. He played in 204 regular season games and started in four AFC championship games. He was the starting tight end in Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl titles (XXXII and XXXIII) and the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV victory.

Rounding out the seven, the Super Bowl XX MVP, Richard Dent was selected by the Chicago Bears in 1983.

Chris Hanburger was an All-American selected in the 18th round by the Washington Redskins. Hanburger recovered three fumbles for touchdowns which stood as an NFL record at the time of his retirement following the 1978 season.

Linebacker Les Richter was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls; the only time he did not receive the honor was his final season in 1962. Richter passed on in 2010.

At the age of 45, Ed Sabol, an aspiring filmmaker formed Blair Productions, which eventually became NFL Films. His vision changed the manner in which sports was presented. During his tenure, NFL Films won 52 Emmys.

The enshrinement ceremony will take place Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

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