Carl Banks Among Hall Of Fame Semifinalists For First Time

Ryan Chatelain
November 26, 2019 - 3:20 pm

Carl Banks is the closest to the Hall of Fame he's even been. 

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The former Giants linebacker is among 25 modern-day semifinalists for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio, the Hall announced Tuesday. It's the first time Banks, who retired after the 1995 season, has made the cut for semifinalists.

Banks played 12 seasons in the NFL -- nine with the Giants, one with the Redskins and two with the Browns. A member of the famed "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" defense that starred Lawrence Taylor, Banks helped the Giants win two Super Bowls.

In 1987, Banks, now a Giants analyst for WFAN, was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection after he had a career-high nine sacks. 

Two former Jets who are remembered mostly for their contributions to other franchises are also among the semifinalists: ex-Broncos safety Steve Atwater and former Steelers guard Alan Faneca. Both were finalists for the Class of 2019.

Three first-year eligible players are also semifinalists: Ex-Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne and ex-49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

The other semifinalists are: 
• Ronde Barber
• Tony Boselli
• Isaac Bruce
• LeRoy Butler
• Torry Holt
• Steve Hutchinson
• Edgerrin James
• John Lynch
• Clay Matthews
• Sam Mills
• Simeon Rice
• Richard Seymour 
• Steve Tasker
• Fred Taylor
• Zach Thomas
• Hines Ward
• Ricky Watters
• Darren Woodson 
• Bryant Young

The list of 15 finalists will be revealed on Jan. 2. Then the 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will vote on this year's Hall class on Feb. 1.