ATLANTA — A fan stopped Kevin Mawae for an autograph at a downtown hotel Friday afternoon.

“I’ll sign, but I’m not writing HOF,” Mawae said.

Not yet at least.

Mawae, the former Jets center, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third straight year. He will find out Saturday if he has been elected by the panel of voters and will need to make an addition to his autograph.

Mawae attended the Hall of Fame luncheon Friday and looked around the ballroom filled with the game’s all-time greats, wondering if he will soon join them.

“It’s cool in that you’re being considered one of the best ever and you get to be around all these guys, the Hall of Famers,” Mawae said. “The hard part is just the waiting. There’s nothing you can do.”

The 48-year-old made his case over a 16-year NFL career that included eight years with the Jets. It is a convincing case. He went to eight Pro Bowls in his career, was first-team All-Pro twice and was named the all-decade center for the 2000s. He blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in 13 of his 16 seasons, and he blocked for a 100-yard rusher in 92 games, the most of any offensive lineman.

Bill Parcells has called him the best center he ever coached. Curtis Martin credits Mawae with helping him get to the Hall of Fame. Mawae changed the position, becoming the first center to pull regularly, showing mobility and athleticism not before seen at the position.

He is one of 15 finalists vying for five spots Saturday. Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey are seen as locks, so Mawae really is one of 12 men vying for two spots.

Mawae is trying to maintain a positive outlook while not getting his hopes too high.

“The process is what it is,” Mawae said. “Everybody is going to have their own thoughts on the process and how they deal with it. For me, I try to keep in perspective. I’m one of 15. There’s only 316 in the Hall now. You count the millions and millions of people who have played the game of football from the inception of the game and I’m being talked about as one of the best 400 to ever step on a football field. In that light, you think, ‘Wow, that’s pretty dang cool.’ I think some guys lose sight of that.”

Mawae said he will work out after he wakes up Saturday and then eat a big breakfast. Finalists have to be in their hotel rooms early in the afternoon. If they are elected, David Baker, the president of the Hall of Fame, will knock on their doors to inform them.

“You try to stay off social media,” Mawae said. “You don’t want to watch TV. You don’t order room service because you don’t want anyone knocking on your door. You basically just wait.

“It’s a long day. A two-hour period seems like an eternity.”

Mawae will find out Saturday if his wait is over or will last at least one more year.

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