Julius Peppers and Antonio Gates Lead Finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Among Top 15 Players
Julius Peppers and Antonio Gates, former defensive end for the Carolina Panthers and tight end for the Los Angeles Chargers, respectively, emerge as first-time finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 in their debut appearances on the ballot.
Peppers and Gates stand out as the sole first-time finalists among the 15-player selection. Notably, Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne, both wide receivers, are finalists for the fifth time, adding to the competitive pool of this year’s nominees.
The list of finalists includes seven returning candidates, such as Patrick Willis, Andre Johnson, and Jared Allen. Additionally, Rodney Harrison, Fred Taylor, and two others secure their first-time positions as finalists after prior semifinalist nods.
The process involves narrowing down the 15 finalists to 10 and then further to five early next year, with the final five requiring an 80% approval from the voting panel for induction. Notably, Peppers and Donovan McNabb share the distinction of being the only two athletes to participate in both an NCAA Final Four and a Super Bowl.
Peppers boasts an illustrious 17-year NFL career, accumulating seven All-Pro honors and nine Pro Bowl selections. His tenure includes 10 seasons with the Panthers, and he concluded his career with 159 1/2 sacks, ranking fourth since the official stat’s inception in 1982.
On the other hand, Gates spent his entire 16-year career with the Chargers, witnessing the team’s move from San Diego to Los Angeles. A dual-sport athlete in college, he aided Kent State’s basketball team in reaching the Elite Eight in 2002. Gates holds various Chargers’ all-time records, including receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Unlike in Major League Baseball, there is no time limit for players to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, after becoming eligible for induction.