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Willie Anderson named semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class 2024

For the fourth consecutive year, Big Willie made it to the semifinals. Will this be the year?

Syndication: The Enquirer Enquirer file / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 25 modern-era players that made it to the semifinals to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, as a member of the class of 2024, and on that list, for the fourth year in a row, was former Cincinnati Bengals right tackle, Willie Anderson.

Anderson, who played for the Bengals from 1996 through the 2007 season, was a first-round pick out of Auburn in the 1996 NFL Draft. He took over the starting right tackle job in Week 7 of the ‘96 season, and the rest is history.

He finished his career as a three-time First-Team All-Pro (‘04, ‘05, ‘06), a Second-Team All-Pro (‘03), and a four-time Pro Bowler (‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06). He was also named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 1996 and inducted into the Bengals Ring of Honor in 2022.

Anderson faced off against a Hall of Fame pass rusher in 15 different games throughout his career, and amazingly only allowed one sack.

While the Bengals didn’t have a ton of success during his tenure with the team, the running backs behind him did. He helped Rudi Johnson become a top-five rusher in franchise history, and he helped Corey Dillon average over 1,200 yards on the ground for six seasons. In all likelihood, if he had played for a different team throughout his career, he’d already be in the Hall of Fame.

Hopefully, 2024 is the year.