Two former Notre Dame players among Hall of Fame finalists

Thursday, January 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Former Notre Dame players Dave Capser and Bob Kuechenberg are among 15 finalists announced Thursday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The class of 2002 will be announced Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, after a vote of the hall's board of selectors.

Casper, a tight end, was in the NFL in 1974-84 with Oakland, Houston, Minnesota and the L.A. Raiders; Kuechenberg, an offensive lineman, played his entire career with Miami in 1970-83.

Nominees who did not make the list of finalists included defensive tackle Dave Butz, who played at Purdue and then in the NFL in 1973-88 with the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins, and center Ray Donaldson, a four-time Pro Bowl player with the Indianapolis Colts.

The finalists also include quarterback Jim Kelly, coach Bill Parcells, team owner Art Modell, coach George Allen, linebacker Harry Carson, defensive end L.C. Greenwood, punter Ray Guy, defensive lineman Dan Hampton, defensive backs Lester Hayes and Donnie Shell, and wide receivers Art Monk, James Lofton and John Stallworth.

Allen was recommended by the hall's seniors committee.

Kelly is the only candidate in his first year of eligibility. He passed for more than 3,000 yards in a season eight times during his career with the Buffalo Bills from 1986-96. Kelly led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls, losing each time.

Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl victories in 1987 and 1991, turned around the fortunes of the Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He led the Patriots to the 1996 Super Bowl, and twice was the NFL's coach of the year.

Guy could become the first player elected to the hall exclusively as a punter.