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Hall of Fame nominees include Zach Thomas, Jimmy Johnson, Junior Seau, more

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame released their list of nominees for the Class of 2015 yesterday. Several members of the list have Miami Dolphins ties.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The list of nominees for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class was released last night, with 113 modern-era candidates making the list. Included in the list are several players who have ties to the Miami Dolphins, including the team's all time tackles leader, linebacker Zach Thomas.

Thomas joined the Dolphins as a fifth round selection in the 1996 Draft. He started all 16 games his rookie season, and was a stalwart in the Miami defense for 12 years. During that time, he earned seven Pro Bowl berths, as well as four First-Team All-Pro selections. He recorded 1,633 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 17 interceptions, 4 touchdowns, 35 passes defensed, and seven fumble recoveries as a member of the Dolphins. He played the 2008 season with the Dallas Cowboys, adding 94 more tackles, 1 sack, 3 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery.

Joining Thomas on the list are cornerback Troy Vincent and linebacker Junior Seau.

Vincent was a first round pick in the 1992 Draft, being selected by Miami with the seventh overall choice. He played for Miami from 1992 to 1995, recording 14 of his career 47 interceptions with the Dolphins, along with 259 tackles, 2 touchdowns, 1 forced fumble, and 3 fumble recoveries. After leaving Miami, Vincent would play eight years with the Philadelphia Eagles, two full seasons with the Buffalo Bills, and his last season, in 2006, split between the Bills and Washington Redskins. Over his career, he played in 207 games, with 890 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 47 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, 12 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles, and 12 fumble recoveries. Vincent was selected to five Pro Bowls and named to the First-Team All-Pro list once, all with the Eagles.

Seau is in his first year of eligibility, having retired after the 2009 season. He originally joined the league as the fifth overall selection by the San Diego Chargers in 1990. He played 20 years in the league, 13 with the Chargers, three with Miami, and four with the New England Patriots. As a Dolphins linebacker, he played in 30 games, recording 5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery, and 189 tackles. For his career, Seau tallied 56.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, 23 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles, 18 fumble recoveries, 1 touchdown, and 1,846 tackles. He was a six-time First-Team All-Pro selection as well as being named to 12 Pro Bowls, all with the Chargers.

Players were not the only people to be nominated, with 14 of the 113 total selections coming from the coaching ranks. Included in that list is former Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson, who won two Super Bowls as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and 1993. Johnson recorded an 80-64 career regular season record, along with 9-4 playoff record. He joined the Cowboys in 1989 after five years as the head coach at the University of Miami. After a 1-15 record in his first season, quickly turned around the Cowboys, winning the back-to-back Super Bowls before semi-retiring from the game. He was convinced to come back to coach the Dolphins in 1996, leading them to a 36-28 regular season victory and a 2-3 record in the playoffs, before retiring again after the 1999 season.

The 113 players and coaches will be submitted to the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, who will narrow it down to 25 semifinalists in November. That list will again be submitted to the Selection Committee, who will cut the list to 15 finalists in January. The final vote will come the day before the Super Bowl when the Selection Committee meets in Arizona. Joining the 15 finalists will be the senior-era finalist (Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff) and two Contributor finalists (yet-to-be-determined). The selection process by-laws allow between four and eight members of the Class of 2015.

Good luck to Thomas, Vincent, Seau, and Johnson. More aqua in the Hall of Fame would be a great addition.