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Young, Willis among four ex-49ers as Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Defensive lineman Bryant Young and linebacker Patrick Willis lead a list of four ex-49ers who advanced to the semifinalist round for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Running back Ricky Watters and wide receiver Anquan Boldin, in his first year of eligibility, were also among the 26 players who advance among the modern-era candidates, the Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.

Boldin was was joined by six other finalists who are in their first year of eligibility. The others are Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Robert Mathis, Steve Smith, DeMarcus Ware and Vince Wilfork.

The next step comes when the semifinalists are trimmed to 15 modern-era finalists.

There will be 18 finalists, including those in the coach, contributor ant senior categories: Dick Vermeil, Art McNally and Cliff Branch.

Here is the complete list of the modern-era semifinalists:

  • Eric Allen, CB – 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2021-22)
  • Jared Allen, DE – 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2021-22)
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  • Willie Anderson, T – 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2021-22)
  • Ronde Barber, CB-S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2018-2022)
  • Anquan Boldin, WR – 2003-09 Arizona Cardinals, 2010-12 Baltimore Ravens, 2013-15 San Francisco 49ers, 2016 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
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  • Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2016-2022)
  • LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2018-2022)
  • Eddie George, RB – 1996-2003 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers-Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Devin Hester, PR-KR-WR – 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2015-2022)
  • Andre Johnson, WR – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016, Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Robert Mathis, DE-LB – 2003-2016 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2016, 2019-2022)
  • Richard Seymour, DE-DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2018-2022)
  • Steve Smith, WR – 2001-2013 Carolina Panthers, 2014-16 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Steve Tasker, ST-WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills | (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2004, 2008-2010, 2012-13, 2020-22)
  • Fred Taylor, RB – 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2020-22)
  • Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2019-2022)
  • Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2017-2022)
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  • DeMarcus Ware, LB-DE – 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Ricky Watters, RB – 1992-94 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles, 1998-2001 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2020, 2022)
  • Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2020-22)
  • Vince Wilfork, DT – 2004-2014 New England Patriots, 2015-16 Houston Texans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2022)
  • Patrick Willis, LB – 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2020-22)
  • Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2022)
  • Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2020-22)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area is on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors.

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