Longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn a finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

PITTSBURGH -- Next year's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony might as well be a giant Pittsburgh Steelers reunion in Canton, Ohio.

Not only will the Steelers have three members inducted as part of the delayed Class of 2020 celebration, but more could be joining them in the Class of 2021.

Longtime scout-turned-director of player personnel Bill Nunn, who died in 2014, was selected as a contributor finalist Tuesday.

"Bill's contributions to the Steelers were extraordinary over the 46 years he was a part of the organization," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "He was a special person that was a close friend and mentor before his passing in 2014. His lessons and stories are still evident in our everyday work. ... His legacy and career deserve to be recognized with the greatest individual honor in football."

Not only was Nunn a key figure in assembling the Super Bowl-winning dynasty of the 1970s, but his lasting legacy was establishing a strong pipeline of talent from historically Black colleges and universities to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Under his guidance, the Steelers found players like Donnie Shell, a 2020 Hall of Famer, along with John Stallworth and Mel Blount, both already in Canton.

"I learned a lot from Bill -- formally, informally. The journey that he walked that was his life was something to be learned," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Just strictly vocationally, from a talent-evaluation standpoint, I was always really impressed how he never let football get in the way. His evaluation style was purely based on pedigree, knee and ankle flexibility, body control, fine motor skills, top-end speed, measurables. Things of that nature. He never got distracted by the football, and he kept evaluations pure from a pedigree standpoint. I was always really impressed and marked by that."