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Rice, Smith among Hall of Fame nominees

  |   Feb. 6, 2010 at 7:42 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith were elected Saturday to the NFL's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The two first-year Hall eligibles were joined by offensive tackle Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, defensive tackle John Randle, cornerback Dick LeBeau and running back Floyd Little.

LeBeau, the longtime defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh, and Little, a running back with Denver from 1967-75, were senior nominees.

The original list of 131 modern-era players was reduced to 25 semi-finalists in November and to 15 finalists in January.

Rice is the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards, scoring 197 touchdowns in 20 seasons.

Smith played 15 seasons with 164 touchdowns on 4,409 carries for 18,355 yards, most with Dallas, where he, like Rice, played for three Super Bowl winners.

"Nobody could have written a script like this," Smith told NFL.com before the announcement in Fort Lauderdale.

LeBeau's 62 interceptions put him third in NFL history among cornerbacks.

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