On Tuesday morning, 129 Modern-Era nominees were announced for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023. Eleven San Francisco 49ers players made the list.
Located in Canton, Ohio, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's headquarters opened in 1963. The Hall of Fame enshrines the most outstanding personnel in professional football, including players, coaches, officials, franchise owners and front-office personnel. Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. and Bryant Young are just some of the 49ers honored in the prestigious establishment. The list of nominees will be cut to 25 semifinalists in November, and 15 finalists will be revealed in early January.
Below is the list of 49ers who were nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023:
DL Justin Smith
Smith was selected to five-consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009 to 2013 and was named to the All-Pro team as a defensive end and as a defensive tackle in 2011 and 2012. Smith also appeared in Super Bowl XLVII.
LB Patrick Willis
The 49ers former first-round pick in the 2007 draft played his entire eight-year career with San Francisco. Willis began his legendary career as the 2007 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2007. The linebacker went on to earn seven trips to the Pro Bowl and was named a six-time All-Pro. He was also named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010's and inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame in 2021.
LB NaVorro Bowman
Bowman spent over six seasons with the 49ers after being selected in the third round (91st overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He and Patrick Willis formed one of the most vaunted linebacker tandems in recent history. Bowman was named All-Pro four times (2011-13, 2015) made three trips to the Pro Bowl (2012-13, 2015). He helped lead the 49ers to three-straight NFC Championships as well as a berth in Super Bowl XLVII.
LB Takeo Spikes
Spikes spent 2008-2010 with the 49ers and went on to become one of only seven linebackers to achieve more than 200 career starts in the NFL. Spikes was a 2003 and 2004 Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro with the Bills in 2004.
S Merton Hanks
Hanks spent nine seasons in the NFL during the 1990s, eight with the San Francisco 49ers. Hanks was selected to four Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams. He was a member of San Francisco's Super Bowl XXIX team.
S Tim McDonald
The former strong safety played thirteen seasons in the NFL and seven seasons with the 49ers. In 1998, McDonald tallied 78 total tackles, four sacks, four interceptions, 15 passes defended and two fumble recoveries en route to the 49ers Super Bowl win over the San Diego Chargers. McDonald was voted to the Pro Bowl six times in his career, three times with the 49ers. He retired after the 1999 season with 1,100 career tackles and 40 interceptions.
QB Jeff Garcia
The three-time Pro Bowler began his NFL career with the 49ers and played for the team from 1999-2003. The quarterback started 71 games with the 49ers and threw for 16,408 yards, 113 touchdowns and rushed for 21 touchdowns. Garcia holds the franchise record for most passing yards in a season, and is the only quarterback in franchise history to throw more than 30 touchdown passes in a season two years in a row. With the 49ers, Garcia made three Pro Bowl appearances (2000-2002) and led the team to the playoffs in the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
RB Ricky Watters
Watters was a three-time Pro Bowler as a member of the 49ers. The running back rushed for 2,840 yards and 25 touchdowns in his three-year career in San Francisco and also hauled in 140 receptions for 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns. Watters was a member of the 49ers Super Bowl XXIX championship team.
WR Anquan Boldin
Boldin played 14 seasons in the NFL, three with the 49ers. After being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft, Boldin was named the 2003 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was also selected to three Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XLVII with the Baltimore Ravens. While in San Francisco, he was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community service in 2015.
TE Wesley Walls
The 49ers second-round pick in the 1989 draft spent 15 years in the NFL, five in San Francisco. Walls was named to five Pro Bowls, was a three-time All-Pro and was a part of the 49ers Super Bowl XXIV team.
K Gary Anderson
Anderson played 23 seasons in the NFL, one with San Francisco. Anderson earned four Pro Bowl and two first-team All-Pro honors after joining the league in 1982 and was named to the NFL's All-Decade second teams of the 1980s and 1990s.
The full list of the Modern-Era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 can be found here.
Go behind-the-scenes in Canton as 49ers legend Bryant Young was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2022.