Former Packers Charles Woodson, Leroy Butler among nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson are among 14 first-year eligible candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joining the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback and the star cornerback/safety on the ballot are receivers Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and Roddy White; running back Steven Jackson; tight end Heath Miller; offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Logan Mankins; defensive linemen Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Kevin Williams; linebacker Jerod Mayo; and defensive back Charles Tillman.

In all, there are 130 nominees for five modern-era spots. The roster of nominees consists of 65 offensive players, 49 defensive players and 16 special teams players. The list will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January. A maximum of five modern-era players will be chosen when the selection committee meets the Saturday before the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

Eighteen finalists will be presented to the full 48-member panel: the 15 modern-era finalists, and the recently nominated Drew Pearson (senior); Bill Nunn (contributor); and Tom Flores (coach).

Enshrinement at the hall in Canton, Ohio, will take place next August, when members of the 2020 class and a special centennial class also will enter the football shrine. The 2020 class could not be enshrined due to the coronavirus pandemic and will be honored next summer.

That class has players Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Alex Karras, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie and Ed Sprinkle; coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson; and contributors Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.

Returning finalists from last year are receivers Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne; offensive linemen Tony Boselli and Alan Faneca; defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Bryant Young; linebackers Sam Mills and Zach Thomas; and defensive backs John Lynch and LeRoy Butler.

AP Source: Big Ten presidents to discuss starting football

Big Ten university presidents will meet Sunday to hear a presentation about playing a fall football season after all — maybe as soon as late October — amid pressure to kick off from parents, players, coaches and even the president.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the Big Ten’s Return to Competition Task Force met Saturday. The medical subcommittee, comprised of athletic directors, doctors and athletic training staffers, made a presentation to a subgroup of presidents and chancellors. The presentation included improvements in the availability of rapid, daily COVID-19 testing.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Big Ten was not planning to make any announcements about its efforts to return to play, said it was a “positive meeting” that led to the scheduling of a presentation to the full group of presidents and chancellors Sunday.

The presentation will cover medical, television and scheduling plans for football, the person said. A vote to start a season is not guaranteed on Sunday but could happen in the coming days. The news was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Another person involved in the Big Ten’s return to play planning told AP that allowing schools to opt out of playing if the presidents do decide to proceed with a fall season has been discussed among the task force.

If things move quickly, the Big Ten could start an eight-game season in about a month, and still compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff. While some Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference teams began their seasons Saturday, and more will next week, the Southeastern Conference is not scheduled to kick off until Sept. 26.

The Big Ten postponed its fall season Aug. 11 because of concerns about playing through the coronavirus pandemic, with presidents and chancellors voting 11-3 in favor. Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska voted against postponement.

The conference and first-year Commissioner Kevin Warren have faced push back from inside and out ever since. Parents of players have demonstrated on campuses and in front of the Big Ten offices outside Chicago. A group of Nebraska players filed a lawsuit against the conference to overturn the decision not to play.

President Donald Trump called Warren to encourage the conference to reconsider. The Republican president and his Democratic opponents have tried to blame each other for college football going dormant across much of the Midwest, which includes several battleground state considered key in the November election.

Within the conference, Ohio State coach Ryan Day released a statement Thursday asking the Big Ten to provide more clarity about its decision to postpone. Penn State coach James Franklin made similar comments in a radio interview.

Day’s Buckeyes were No. 2 in the AP preseason Top 25. Franklin’s Nittany Lions were No. 7.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25