ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– By the time you wake up Wednesday morning, a Denver Bronco from the Orange Crush defense could be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar will find out if he’s been voted into the Pro Hall of Fame as a senior member at 5 a.m. on Wednesday during “Good Morning Football” on NFL Network.
Gradishar is one of 38 finalists for the special 15-member Centennial Slate to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Gradishar was a hell of a player in his time,” Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio said on Dec. 19, 2019. “He had a great name for a linebacker, too and very deserving also.”
Gradishar is a two-time Modern-Era finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2003 and 2008 classes. He played 10 seasons for the Broncos from 1974-83 and is franchise leader with 2,049 tackles, according to the Denver Broncos. He also had 19.5 sacks, 20 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns. As a middle linebacker in the 3-4 defense, he was a centerpiece of the “Orange Crush” defense that led the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance in 1977.
A season after leading the team to Super Bowl XII, he became the only Bronco named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press in 1978. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and earned first or second-team All-Pro selections from 1977-81 and in 1983. Gradishar was inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame in 1989.
The former Ohio State Buckeye was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Gradishar hopes to join the entire 20-person Class of 2020 for Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio. The group of five Modern-Era players along with contributors and coaches will be formally enshrined on Aug. 8. The 10 seniors will be officially enshrined during the Centennial Celebration in Canton from Sept. 16-19.
Former Broncos safeties Steve Atwater and John Lynch are Modern-Era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Voting for the Modern-Era finalists will be on “Selection Saturday” in Miami the day before Super Bowl LIV.