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Saturday, February 2, 2008   

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UPDATED: Ruston, Tech product Fred Dean named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Fred Dean has become the first modern-era native of northeastern Louisiana to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dean was an all-state defender at Ruston High, then all-conference for Louisiana Tech before a standout career with the NFL's San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.

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“My heart is fluttering; I’m still trying to get over this,” Dean told reporters, just moments after learning of his induction. “I’m ecstatic behind it all. I didn’t work for this; I worked for the love of the game.”

Dean, who was born in Arcadia, played on five divisional winners, in three NFC championship games and on two Super Bowl championship squads.

“That SOB was a one-man wrecking crew,” former Tech defensive assistant Pat Collins said. “Fred Dean is one of the greatest football players I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He deserves it. He had a big heart, with great speed and great strength.”

Dean was selected as the 33rd player overall in the 1975 NFL Draft by San Diego, where he played from 1975-81. He was then traded mid-season to the 49ers, and starred there from 1981-85.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection (1979, 1980-81, 1983), Dean helped San Diego win the AFC West twice before being traded to San Francisco, where he won Super Bowls XVI and XIX.

Dean had 93 career sacks, according to John Turney of the Pro Football Researchers Association. He earned all-conference honors four times -- twice with each of his pro clubs.

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Originally published February 2, 2008

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Fred Dean

ABOUT DEAN’S INDUCTION

Ruston High and Louisiana Tech product Fred Dean was one of 17 considered for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

The other inductees announced on Saturday were Art Monk, Darrell Green, Gary Zimmerman, Andre Tippett and Emmitt Thomas.

Dean, who played professionally for San Diego and then San Francisco, was also a finalist last year. He made it to the final 11 before being eliminated when the field was cut to six.

He is the third Pro Football Hall of Famer from San Francisco’s early 1980s Super Bowl teams, joining quarterback Joe Montana, safety Ronnie Lott and the late coach Bill Walsh.

There are six players who played the bulk of their careers at San Diego already in the hall -- including Charlie Joiner, a product of nearby Grambling.

-- Nick Deriso, nderiso@thenewsstar.com



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