HOUSTON – Retired San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and ex-Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who played at Lincoln High School, have been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2017.
Of this year's class, Tomlinson was seen as the likely lock. The 2006 NFL MVP is fifth in career rushing yards, second in career rushing touchdowns and third in total touchdowns.
Tomlinson -- who is originally from Rosebud, Texas, a little more than 150 miles away from Houston -- said he "got emotional right away."
"I just thought about the journey," a red-eyed Tomlinson said. "I thought about being a small-town kid from up the road, to now going to Canton, Ohio."
As for Davis, a running back who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, he wasn't sure if this would be his year. It was his 11th year of eligibility and third year as a finalist. He had the feeling he was getting close, but with Tomlinson on the ballot, he had started looking ahead to 2018.
"I knew he was going in," Davis said. "I really thought there was no way they would put two backs in the same class, especially a guy who's a first-ballot Hall of Famer versus a special-circumstance guy like me, as I sort of created that. I thought that's what they saw me as. So when I got the knock, obviously, I was shocked."
Troy Hirsch spoke with Hall of Fame receiver and Hall of Fame voter James Lofton on the process of picking the class:
Other finalists with San Diego connections included:
— former Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch, from Torrey Pines High School, a nine-time Pro Bowl participant in 15 seasons who was recently hired as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers;
— and Don Coryell, a head coach who brought an unprecedented aerial attack to the then-St. Louis Cardinals and later the Chargers, compiling a 111- 83-1 record in 14 seasons, with six playoff appearances. Coryell, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for developing the I-formation system at USC and passing game at San Diego State University, died in 2010.
Some of the current members of the Hall of Fame with San Diego connections are ex-Chargers receiver Lance Alworth; Marcus Allen, the Raiders running back who starred at Lincoln High; Rams and Colts running back Marshall Faulk, who played at San Diego State; and Junior Seau, the late-Chargers linebacker who grew up in Oceanside.
Other members of the class of 2017 are Morten Andersen, Jason Taylor, Kurt Warner, Jerry Jones and Kenny Easley.
The class was announced during the taping of NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special held at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston. The group will be enshrined in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, in August.