NEW ORLEANS – The San Francisco 49ers were well represented in the modern era finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013, but in the end, former guard Larry Allen was the only finalist with ties to the team representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLVII.
Former owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and defensive end Charles Haley were among the most notable former 49ers to not advance to the final 10 nominees for the Class of 2013.
In addition to Allen, 2013's class included Jonathan Ogden, Cris Carter, Warren Sapp, Bill Parcels, plus senior committee selections Dave Robinson and Curley Culp.
“I broke down and started crying,” Allen, an alum of Napa’s Vintage High School, told a room full of reporters at the Super Bowl media center. “I’m still trying to process this.”
Allen, a 14-year veteran, played two seasons with the 49ers to complete his career (2006-07). The guard who once bench-pressed 700 pounds and was clocked running a 4.8, 40-yard dash, played with several current 49ers, including Pro Bowl left tackle
The mauling guard made 11 Pro Bowls, including one with San Francisco in 2006. That year, Pro Bowl running back
Known for his physical dominance and position versatility, Allen played every position on the offensive line but center for the Cowboys. With the 49ers, he lined up at guard.
Allen, a seven-time, first-team All-Pro, was named to two NFL All-Decade teams, the 1990s and 2000s.
“This guy scared people,” said Ogden, a former left tackle of the Baltimore Ravens. “I’ve seen 3-technique (defensive linemen) physically develop cramps playing against him… He was one of the premiere offensive linemen to ever play the game.”
Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, also a former 49ers player, summed up what made Allen one of the most impressive linemen in professional football as he sat on stage with Ogden and Allen.
“He was so strong,” Woodson began, “once he got his hands on you, he’d make you pay.”