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Ronde Barber named Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist
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Ronde Barber named Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist

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Former Cave Spring High School, University of Virginia and Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout Ronde Barber was named one of 26 modern-day semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 on Wednesday.

The former defensive back was one of 15 modern-day finalists last year but was not elected. It was his first time as a finalist. This is the fifth straight time he has been named a semifinalist.

Barber, a three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl pick, was named a member of the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s. He had 47 interceptions and 28 sacks in his 16-year Bucs career. He is the only player in NFL history with at least 45 interceptions and at least 25 sacks. He helped the Bucs win the 2002 Super Bowl.

Ronde’s twin, former Cave Spring, UVa and New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, had also been one of the 123 modern-era nominees this year. But Tiki Barber did not make the cut as a semifinalist. Former UVa stars Thomas Jones, Heath Miller and D’Brickashaw Ferguson also did not make the cut.

In addition to Ronde Barber, the other 2021 finalists who were not elected and were named 2022 semifinalists Wednesday were Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Jared Allen, Richard Seymour, Zach Thomas and Sam Mills.

The 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists before the final voting process in January. The inductees will be announced on Feb. 10.

Seven first-time eligible former players, including wide receivers Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin, are among the semifinalists.

Joining them as candidates for induction next year are outstanding kick returner Devin Hester; pass-rushing standouts Robert Mathis and DeMarcus Ware; and run-stuffing defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Each last played in the 2016 season.

The other semifinalists are Eddie George, Ricky Watters, Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Steve Tasker, Fred Taylor, Hines Ward, Patrick Willis, Darren Woodson and Bryant Young.

Three finalists previous announced are Dick Vermeil in the coaching category, former referee and officiating executive Art McNally in the contributor category, and former Raiders receiver Cliff Branch in the senior category.

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