McDaniel Elected to Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009 was announced Saturday and former Vikings offensive lineman Randall McDaniel is among those who will be enshrined and will live forever in football immortality.

The announcement was made at a nationally televised (NFL Network) press conference in Tampa Bay at 1:30 p.m. CT. The six-man class was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, who met Saturday in Tampa. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.

Six individuals comprise the class of 2009. Along with McDaniel, the new Hall of Famers include: Bob Hayes, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson and Rod Woodson. The six individuals were chosen among a group of 17 finalists, including two other former Vikings – Cris Carter and John Randle.

“It feels great to be in there with select company,” McDaniel said after the announcement was made. “I never thought it would happen. It is an honor. And as an offensive linemen, you have to thank those that you played with. I still can’t believe it. It’s kind of overwhelming, but I accept this knowing I couldn’t have done it with all of the offensive linemen I played with. It’s a great moment, a humbling moment. I thank the entire Vikings organization and everyone from the fans to the media.”

The 2009 class will increase to 253 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Enshrinement of the Class of 2009 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

At times it can be difficult to gauge the greatness of an offensive lineman, but not in the case of McDaniel. He was the starting left guard for the NFC in 12 consecutive Pro Bowls and he missed only two career games with an injury. He is one of the most decorated offensive linemen in NFL history and he defined the offensive guard position while also becoming the standard by which other linemen of his era were judged.

McDaniel made his presence felt immediately with the Vikings after his selection as the #19 overall pick in the 1988 draft. He stepped into the starting lineup in the second game of his rookie season and the rest is history. McDaniel played in a total of 222 regular season and 15 playoff games, including a streak of 202 consecutive regular season starts from 10/22/89 until his retirement after the 2001 season. McDaniel and Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews (Oilers/Titans) are the only two NFL players to play in every game in the decade of the 1990s and McDaniel was named an All-Pro in 11 consecutive seasons (1989-1999) following his All-Rookie campaign, including seven times on the Associated Press’ First-Team All-Pro unit.

A true mark of a great player is the ability to elevate the level of the play of teammates – and McDaniel had that ability. He helped pave the way for three different running backs (Terry Allen-2, Robert Smith-3, Warrick Dunn 1) to rush for 1,000+ yards a combined six times during their careers. McDaniel-led offensive lines also helped three different quarterbacks (Warren Moon-2, Brad Johnson-2, Randall Cunningham-1) pass for 3,000+ yards a combined five times during their careers.

As is the case with his former teammate Cris Carter, McDaniel was a Hall of Famer off the field as well. The importance of education was a foundation in McDaniel’s life starting with a childhood that included one of his most precious records – he never missed a day of school from kindergarten to high school graduation. The first in his family to attend college, McDaniel earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Arizona State University.

In preparation for a future career in education, McDaniel spent his offseasons (1997-2002) volunteering full-time as a teacher’s aide in the elementary schools of the Robbinsdale (MN) School District. Upon his retirement in 2002, he received his provisional teaching certificate and began working as a K-5 Substitute Teacher in addition to his regular role in the classroom. Currently, McDaniel is in his first year working with second-grade special education students in the Westonka (MN) Public Schools.

RANDALL STANDS TALL

In his 222 career games, teams went 133-89 in regular season play and endured only 1 losing season in his 14 campaigns. McDaniel’s teams played in 15 playoff contests, including playoff berths in nine of his final ten seasons.

McDANIEL MILESTONES

— 1st NFL game- 9/4/88 at Buffalo, the 1988 season opener

— 1st NFL start- 9/11/88 vs. New England, a 36-6 Vikings win

— Blocked for first career 100-yard rusher- 9/8/91 at Atlanta, a 20-19 win when Herschel Walker ran for 125 yards

— Last NFL game- 1/12/02 at Philadelphia, an NFC Wild Card Playoff game with Tampa Bay

— Inducted into Vikings Ring of Honor- 12/17/06 vs. NY Jets

McDANIEL’S AWARDS AND HONORS

— 1992 NFL Alumni Association Offensive Lineman of the Year

— 1993 NFL Players Association NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year

— 1994 NFL Players Association NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year

— 1996 NFL True Value Man of the Year

— 1997 NFL Players Association Unsung Hero Award

— 1999 Minnesota Vikings 40th Anniversary All-Time Team

— 2006 Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor inductee

— 2008 National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame inductee pilot program, Adventure-Us Learning Alternatives, in St. Louis, MO (1997-2002), designing and overseeing “Mr. McDaniel’s Classroom”- an after school tutoring program at the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida for children with sickle-cell anemia (1999-2004).

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is a multi-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class. Held in Canton each year, the festival includes 15 special public events and culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL Hall of Fame Game. Two other major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, August 7), and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 9). It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2009 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket. At the GameDay Roundtable, the members of the Class of 2009 will be featured center stage to share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Individual enshrinement tickets and Festival Fan Packages are on sale now. Ticket information can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website at ProFootballHOF.com.