Cornerback Deion Sanders and running back Marshall Faulk were elected in their first years of eligibility by the 44-person voting committee. Others elected were were defensive end Richard Dent, tight end Shannon Sharpe, NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, and linebackers Chris Hanburger and Les Richter. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum vote of 80 percent.
Martin is fourth on the NFL’s all-time career rushing list with 14,101 yards in 11 seasons. He will be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration again in 2012.
Earlier this week Martin had acknowledged that he might not be elected this time around.
"It’s been such an honor for me to accomplish what I accomplished in the NFL. Nothing will take that away from me or that joy of being able to play the years I have and accomplish what I have," Martin said.
In a statement released this evening by the Jets Martin congratulated the 2011 Hall of Fame class.
"I think the voting committee did a great job selecting the 2011 class. If I were a part of the committee I can't say that I would have voted any differently. I'm not being modest at all, but I truly don't feel that there's anyone in this year's class that I should have bested in the voting process," Martin said. "Of course I would have loved to get in this year but, number one the inductees truly deserved it, number two there's always next year! I thank you all for the recognition and congratulations to this year's inductees!"