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A lead blocker for Dallas as Emmitt Smith became the NFL's career rushing leader, Allen made six All-Pro squads and 11 Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons, the final two with San Francisco. He won the Super Bowl in the 1995 season and was voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility,
"I just knew I had to win every play," he said. "That's the reason I am here. I knew if I lost a play, I had 45 seconds to get even."
Sapp became only the second Tampa Bay Buccaneer enshrined, 18 years after Lee Roy Selmon made it. He was elected in his first year of eligibility following 13 seasons in which he went from instant starter after being selected 12th overall in the 1995 draft to Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. That season, he had 12 1/2 sacks as the Bucs won their first division title in 18 years. For his career, Sapp had 96 1/2 sacks, extremely high for a defensive tackle.
"I sit here with the greatest among the great," Sapp said, breaking into tears. "We're here, baby."
Presented Saturday night by his 15-year-old daughter, Mercedes, Sapp made the NFL's All-Decade squads for the 1990s and the 2000s.
Sapp, who both Ogden and Allen said was as tough to handle as any player they faced, paid tribute to his roots in Plymouth, Fla.
"That dirt road was something rough," he said. "We sure turned it into something special."
Robinson became the 12th inductee from the vintage Packers coached by Vince Lombardi to be enshrined. Robinson was a prototype outside linebacker who could rush the quarterback, cover tight ends or running backs on pass plays, and stop the run. He made the NFL's All-Decade team of the 1960s and won three NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls.
"This is the biggest day of the 21st century for the Robinson family," he said, adding that he "lives 25 miles from here but it took me 38 years to get here.
"Now, I am immortalized."
As is Culp, one of the game's most dominant defensive tackles for much of his 14 pro seasons, including the 1969 season when he helped Kansas City win the NFL title.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Culp also played for Houston and Detroit, retiring in 1981, then waiting more than three decades to be enshrined Saturday as a senior nominee.
"It gives me joy and inspiration that will last the rest of my life," Culp said. "I am just overwhelmed by the struggles, joys and tears of those who made it here. I'm happy to join them in the Hall of Fame.
|Coll of Charleston||65|
|(22) George Washington||80|
|(12) Texas A&M||63||FINAL|
|(11) Miss State||55|
|(4) Notre Dame||67||FINAL|
|William & Mary||62|
|(15) North Carolina||80||FINAL|
|(9) Florida State||69||FINAL|
|(10) Arizona State||59|
|(2) South Carolina||56||FINAL|