Casey Hampton, Priest Holmes, Eric Metcalf named finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2021

18 Sep By
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Former running back Priest Holmes, defensive tackle Casey Hampton and running back Eric Metcalf are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2021 (photos courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — Three former Texas football players have been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s list of modern-era nominees for the class of 2021. 

Former UT running backs Eric Metcalf and Priest Holmes, and former defensive tackle Casey Hampton were among the nominees announced Wednesday.

Hampton was a two-time first-team All-America and the 2000 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. A three-time all-conference honoree from 1998-2000, he became the first defensive lineman in program history to lead the Longhorns in tackles in consecutive seasons, with 101 in his junior season and 78 the next year. He still ranks fifth in program history with 54 tackles for loss, including 39 over his final two seasons at UT. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, started 164 of 173 career NFL games and made the Pro Bowl in five of his 12 NFL seasons.

Holmes was a four-letterman at running back remembered best for his three touchdowns and 120 rushing yards in UT’s upset over then-No. 3 and two-time defending national champion Nebraska in the 1996 Big 12 Championship. He was named team captain in 1996, a year after missing the 1995 season with a knee injury. After going unchosen during the NFL Draft, he signed as a free agent in 1997 with the Baltimore Ravens, and later earned three Pro Bowl appearances while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished his 11-year NFL career with 8,172 rushing yards and 72 career touchdowns.

Metcalf was a three-time All-Southwest Conference honoree, setting program records for receptions in a game (12), career punt return yards (1,076), receptions in a season by a running back (42) and career receptions (125) by a running back. He finished his Texas career with 5,705 total yards, a program record at the time that still ranks fourth in school history. The only player to lead the Longhorns in all-purpose yards in four consecutive seasons, Metcalf was chosen with the 13th overall pick of the 1989 drafted by the Cleveland Browns; he earned three Pro Bowl invitations and was named All-Pro three times in his 13-year NFL career, during which he played for seven NFL teams.

The field of nominees for the Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be whittled to 18 finalists; the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet and vote the day before the Super Bowl. Next year’s class will be enshrined Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021.

Photo Gallery

Priest Holmes #33

(photos: courtesy of University of Texas photography)

Casey Hampton #64

(photo courtesy of University of Texas Photography)

Eric Metcalf #2

(photo courtesy of University of Texas Photography)