Kurt Warner's rags-to-riches story began in Cedar Falls. Now, the former UNI and NFL quarterback is being considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

Warner is among 15 first-year eligible modern-era candidates nominated for enshrinement in 2015. In all, 99 players and 14 coaches comprise the 113 nominees. A modern-era player or coach must be retired at least five consecutive seasons to be eligible.

When comparing Warner's career statistics with other quarterbacks who are enshrined, his numbers don't jump off the page. The low statistics are the result of Warner's late start in the NFL and a mid-career lull. But, his unexpected rise to stardom and the success he had during a 12-year professional career make Warner a worthy Hall-of-Fame candidate.

Courtesy of: Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sports
Courtesy of: Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sports

His story is well-known by those who regularly follow pro football.

After starting only one season at UNI, the Green Bay Packers signed Warner as an undrafted free-agent in 1994 but cut him during training camp.

Warner then went from being a minimum-wage worker at a Cedar Falls grocery store to an Arena League star with the Iowa Barnstormers in three years. In 1999, he led the St. Louis Rams to their only Super Bowl title in his first-year as an NFL starting quarterback.

Warner threw for 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns while playing for the Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. He played in three Super Bowls, was twice named the NFL's regular-season most valuable player and won the Super Bowl MVP award in 1999. He owns the three highest single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history and has the third-highest career completion percentage in NFL history.

The Burlington, Iowa, native announced his retirement from the NFL in 2010. He currently works for the NFL Network.

Also nominated for the class of 2015 in their first year of eligibility are linebacker Junior Seau, receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, tackle Orlando Pace, and placekicker Jason Elam.

The selection committee will choose 25 candidates as semifinalists in late November. The list will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January. The 2015 class will be voted on the day before the Super Bowl.

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