LSU Great Alan Faneca Finalist for NFL Hall of Fame


LSU football fans were happy to see that former LSU and Pittsburgh Steelers star Alan Faneca was one of 15 finalists named for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Faneca was named a finalist his first year on the ballot, a good indicator that he will probably make it in the hall at some point, even if he misses the cut this year.

Younger LSU fans may have been brought up to believe the decade of the ’90’s was a dead zone in LSU history between the great Bill Arnsparger teams of the 80’s and the rejuvenation of the program under Nick Saban.

Coaches Mike Archer, Curley Hallman, and Gerry DiNardo are looked at as the bad hires who authored that drought, an opinion that is not without merit.

It’s easy to forget that for a short time it looked like LSU had really turned the corner under Gerry DiNardo.

For a two year stretch in ’96 and ’97, the Tigers went 19-5 with signature wins against Notre Dame and a #1 ranked Florida team. Alan Faneca was a centerpiece of those teams.

Former LSU All-American offensive guard Alan Faneca. Photo courtesy of

Faneca was recruited out of Houston by Curley Hallman and redshirted during Hallman’s final disastrous season at LSU. DiNardo was a former offensive lineman himself, and immediately saw Faneca’s value and put him in the starting lineup.

Faneca blocked for Rondell Mealey, Kevin Faulk and the ill starred Cecil Collins during his LSU career. He also protected LSU QB Herb Tyler.

Faneca’s greatest game as a Tiger came against Florida during his final season in Baton Rouge. The Gators had thoroughly whipped the Tigers the year before in Gainesville.

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Losing to Spurrier-coached Florida teams had become an annual tradition for the Tigers at this point, but the ’96 game was particularly painful.

Florida QB Danny Wuerffel made a statement in his Heisman campaign by stacking 56 points on LSU in a landslide. In ’97 the Gators, again ranked #1 and stacked with NFL talent, rolled into Baton Rouge looking for a little light work. Instead they found themselves in a dog fight from the first snap forward.

Faneca set the tone for the LSU offense against Florida, registering pancake blocks, second level blocks in the Florida secondary and more than once blocking a Florida player completely off the field of play.

You can see some of Faneca’s work in this video of highlights of the ’97 Florida game at 1:14 in. Lead blocking a long TD un by QB Herb Tyler Faneca is able to keep Tyler clean all the way down the sideline.

In another play, Faneca blows open a hole with a hit that can be heard all the way in the press box — to clear the way for a Tommy Banks TD run that put the Tigers up 14-0 against the #1 team in the country.

After his final All American season at LSU, Faneca went on to a great NFL career spent mostly with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a nine time Pro Bowler, six time First Team All-Pro, and member of the All-Decade Team of the 2000’s.

He also won a Superbowl with the Steelers — where in typical fashion he was the lead blocker on the longest touchdown run in Superbowl history.

Since he retired from football, Faneca has become an avid marathon runner; dropping over 100 pounds from his playing days.

It can be difficult to predict Hall of Fame voting, and there is no guarantee Faneca will make it his first year on the ballot.

He is as close to a lock as you can get to be elected eventually though, and Canton should expect to see a lot of purple and gold in the crowd when he stands on the stage to make his speech…………..