Former 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young on Thursday took a step toward enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Young was announced on the NFL Network as one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. It is the first time Young has been a finalist in his eight years of eligibility after retiring at the end of the 2007 season. He was named among the 25 semifinalists in November.

Young, the 49ers’ career-leader in quarterbacks sacks with 89.5, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s, while being a two-time first-team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He was on the 49ers' Super Bowl champion as a rookie in 1994. Young won Comeback Player of the Year in 1999 after a broken leg ended his previous season after 12 games.

One of the most respected players in franchise history, Young’s teammates voted him eight times as the winner of the 49ers’ the prestigious Len Eshmont Award, for courageous and inspirational play.

Young was a first-round draft pick from Notre Dame in 1994. He played each of his 14 NFL seasons with the 49ers.

The 48-member Hall of Fame board of selectors will meet on the eve of Super Bowl 54 in Miami to elect the five modern-era inductees who will join 15 additional individuals chosen by a blue-ribbon panel as part of the NFL’s centennial enshrinement class.

[RELATEDHall of Fame semifinalist Bryant Young loves watching 49ers this season]


A blue-ribbon panel will meet this month to determine the 10 seniors, three contributors, and two coaches as part of the Hall of Fame’s one-time expanded class to join the modern-era inductees.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig is one of 20 finalists for 10 spots to be made available for players whose playing careers ended at least 25 years ago.

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors.