Harold Carmichael, snubbed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for decades, was named a finalist as part of the Hall’s special centennial induction process.
The Hall is celebrating the NFL’s 100th anniversary by adding 15 additional Hall of Famers next year comprised of 10 seniors, three two-playing contributors and two coaches. That's in addition to five modern-era players.
Carmichael is one of 20 senior players to be named a finalist. The senior players had to have last played at least 25 years ago.
Long-time Eagle Al Wistert is also among that group. Dick Vermeil and Bucko Kilroy, who both also have Eagles ties, were also among the nominees.
Carmichael spent the 1971 through 1983 seasons with the Eagles after getting drafted in the 7th round out of Southern University. He was named a wide receiver on the NFL’s 1980s all-decade team and is also on the Eagles' 75th anniversary team named in 2007.
During his 12 seasons with the Eagles, he caught 589 passes for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns. He led the NFL in catches and yards in 1973 and made four Pro Bowls.
During the 11-year period from 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL with 549 catches, 8414 yards and 77 touchdowns.
Carmichael was also a very productive postseason player. He had 9 catches for 203 yards and three TDs in two playoff games in 1979 and was 13-for-174 with a TD during the 1980 super Bowl run.
In all, he was 29-for-465 with 6 TDs in seven playoff games.
Carmichael finished his career playing two games for the Cowboys in 1984.
When he retired after the 19845 season, Carmichael ranked 5th in NFL history in receptions, seventh in yards and seventh in TDs.
Every player who had more catches than Carmichael at that point — Charlie Joiner, Charley Taylor, Don Maynard and Raymond Berry — are Hall of Famers.
Carmichael still holds Eagles franchise records for catches, yards and touchdowns. Zach Ertz is second with 521 receptions, Pete Retzlaff is second with 7,412 yards and Tommy McDonald is second with 66 TDs.
This is the first time Carmichael has been a finalist.
Wistert was a four-time first-team all-pro for the Eagles as an offensive lineman from 1943 through 1951 and a member of the first two Eagles NFL Championship teams. He was selected to the NFL's team of the decade for the 1940s.
He coached football at Riverside High School in South Jersey while he was playing for the Eagles. Wistert died in 2016 at 95 years old.
Vermeil coached the Eagles from 1976 through 1982 and led the 1980 team to Super Bowl XV after the 1980 season. He later won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999 with the Rams. He had a 120-109 record in 15 years as a head coach with the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs.
Kilroy, a Port Richmond native and graduate of Northeast Catholic and Temple, played for the Eagles from 1943 through 1955 and was a three-time Pro Bowl pick as a guard. He set what was then an NFL record by playing in 147 straight games.
He later served as an assistant coach with the Eagles and then as a scout with the Cowboys and as the Patriots’ general manager from 1979 through 1982. He died in 2007.
The Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Feb. 1, 2020, the night before Super Bowl LIV in Miami. The 20-person Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be enshrined on Aug. 8, 2020, in Canton, Ohio.