The NFL announced 25 semi-finalists for the 2020 Hall of Fame class on Tuesday. Among the 25 are two former greats from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish; running back Ricky Watters and defensive tackle Bryant Young.
Watters was a dynamic threat on the field for the Irish during his time in South Bend (1987-1990). While often times overshadowed by Raghib Ismail, Watters remains one of the greatest athletes to ever put on an Irish uniform. He rushed for over 1800 yards and had over 600 yards receiving with 23 total touchdowns. He also returned 3 punts for a touchdown as well.
Watters was a second round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 1991 and helped them to win Super Bowl XXIX. Watters would go on to be selected in 5 Pro Bowls while playing for 3 teams in the league (49ers, Eagles, Seahawks). He rushed for over 10,000 yards in his career and is currently the 24th all-time in that regard.
Bryant Young was one of the greatest defensive players to ever put on a gold helmet. Young arrived in South Bend in 1990 and by his sophomore year, he was a starter on one of the elite programs in college football. Young was an All-American in 1993 when the Irish got railroaded by the polls for the National Championship.
The 49ers took Young with the 7th overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, and helped them win Super Bowl XXIX. Young played 14 years in the NFL — all with the 49ers. Throughout his time in the league, he missed a grand total of 13 games due to injury and was a force against the run as well as a pass rusher. Young had maybe his best season in 1996, recording 84 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed and 2 safeties. on his way to his first of 4 Pro Bowls.