CANTON, OHIO - Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson were named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2013.
Culp and Robinson will join 15 yet to be named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2013 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on Feb. 2, 2013, the day before Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, La.
The wrestling community has a special interest in Curley Culp, who was a two-sport star at Arizona State. He was a 1967 NCAA wrestling champion at heavyweight for the Sun Devils, the first NCAA wrestling champion in Arizona State history.
He received the Gorriarian Award for the Most Pins at the 1967 NCAA Championships, which were held at Kent State. He opened the tournament with a 15-5 win over Frank Paquin of Lehigh, then pinned his next three opponents. The fall victims were Jeff Richardson of Michigan state in the quarterfinals (1:50), Granville Liggins of Oklahoma in the semifinals (3:46) and Nick Carollo of Adams State in the finals (0:51).
Culp was also a two-time Arizona state wrestling champion from Yuma High School (1962, 1963). He is a charter member of the Arizona State Hall of Fame, a member of the Sun Devil Ring of Honor and a member of the Yuma High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Culp was selected in the second round of the 1968 draft by the Denver Broncos but was soon traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent the first six-plus seasons with the Chiefs where he was an integral member of the team's Super Bowl IV championship team.
He continued his dominating play after a blockbuster trade landed him with the Houston Oilers in 1974. He was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year by the Newspaper Enterprise Association in '75. Noted for his tremendous strength, Culp's impact on the football field was recognized by his six Pro Bowl selections. In addition, he earned first- or second-team All-Pro acclaim five times and was named All-AFC his first three full seasons with the Oilers. He finished his NFL career with the Detroit Lions.
Robinson joined the Green Bay Packers as the team's first round draft pick in 1963. He immediately made his presence felt on a team that dominated pro football during that decade.
The 6'3", 245-pound product of Penn State helped anchored the Packers defense as the team enjoyed sustained success. He helped Green Bay to three straight NFL championships including victories in Super Bowls I and II.
After ten seasons with the Packers, Robinson finished his NFL career by playing two years with the Washington Redskins (1973-74).
He was named to three Pro Bowls, earned All-NFL acclaim three times, and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1960s. Robinson recorded 27 interceptions from his linebacker spot during a 155-game career.
The former defensive greats must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall's Selection Committee can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven.
The Seniors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2013 senior nominees were reduced to a final list of candidates. Five members of the Seniors Committee met at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to discuss each of the senior finalists. A senior nominee is an individual whose career ended at least 25 years ago.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio next August.