The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced the 25 modern-era semifinalists for entry into the Class of 2019.
NFL.com's Adam Rank called it "an incredible group" and gave a personal ranking of the semifinalists. He noted that the list is "not meant to be a prediction of the Class of 2019" but rather a reflection of how he would vote if given the chance.
Coming in at No. 9 on Rank's list was former Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson, who spent 2001-05 with the Seahawks before playing for Minnesota from 2006-11. He played a final season with Tennessee in 2012. During his NFL career, Hutchinson was named to the Pro Bowl seven consecutive seasons (2003-09) and received All-Pro honors five times (2003, 2005, 2007-09).
Hutchinson was one of four offensive linemen included in the group of semifinalists.
Rank wrote the following of Hutchinson:
He was a key component of Shaun Alexander's 2005 MVP season. Then he was traded to Minnesota and helped launch Adrian Peterson's Hall of Fame-caliber career. But I have to admit, I almost feel like a football hipster when I talk about linemen.
In his top five, from top to bottom, Rank listed tight end Tony Gonzalez, safety Ed Reed, Head Coach Tom Flores, safety Steve Atwater and cornerback Champ Bailey.
View exclusive black-and-white images from the Vikings game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Owatonna's Williams named Vikings Head Coach of the Year
The Minnesota Vikings annually choose a Minnesota-based high school Head Coach of the Year, and this year's honor will go to Owatonna Head Coach Jeff Williams.
Jon Weisbrod from Owatonna.com wrote about Williams receiving the news on Tuesday:
Owatonna head coach Jeff Williams thought the best part of his Tuesday was going to be escaping the cold inside the cavernous Dundas Dome in preparation for his team's Class 5A state championship game against St. Thomas Academy on Saturday.
Turns out, it got a lot better.
Showing up to practice assuming Minnesota Vikings [Youth Football Development Manager Jeff Robinson] was there strictly to speak with his players, Williams was genuinely surprised when Robinson … announced in front of the team before practice that [Williams] has been named this year's Minnesota High School Coach of the Year.
Not only will long-time OHS head man be recognized before the Vikings' game on Dec. 16, but he will also travel with Robinson to Orlando, Florida, for the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 27, as one of the 32 finalists for the Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award. One coach is nominated per NFL team.
Weisbrod quoted Williams, who spoke with WCCO's Mike Max about the recognition.
"I just thought the best part of the day would be 70 degrees indoors and no wind, and now it's a trip to Orlando," Williams joked with Max. "It's pretty cool and obviously a great honor. I think it's a reflection of the staff that we have; what a great bunch of coaches. We have been together for 25 years, and it's just a brotherhood of camaraderie. It's awesome to be a part of."
Anthony Harris heading 'One Love Foundation' fundraiser
For the next five weeks, Anthony Harris is heading a fundraiser for a cause close to his heart, the One Love Foundation.
Harris, along with Vikings teammate Stephen Weatherly, have been consistent supporters of the foundation and showed their support during the NFL's 2017 "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative.
The following is posted on Harris' fundraising page:
To honor Yeardley Love, a fellow athlete and former UVA lacrosse player that was killed by her ex-boyfriend, I am running a season long fundraiser on behalf of the One Love Foundation, a national organization that teaches young people about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors.
Founded in 2010, the One Love Foundation exists for one reason – Yeardley's death was 100% avoidable if anyone around her knew the signs of an unhealthy and increasingly dangerous relationship. Today, One Love works to ensure everyone has access to the information that Yeardley and her friends did not. Through film-based workshops, One Love provides pathways for understanding and a launching pad for community conversations about the warning signs of abuse and fundamentals of building healthy relationships.
_Please support my efforts to help the One Love Foundation and ensure young people have access to this potentially life-saving information. _