Kevin Mawae thought his might be the year ... and he was right.
The legendary Jets center was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
"It's unreal, surreal right now," he said from The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. "We're in the green room right now, getting ready for the start of the awards show. I'm just so excited."
Mawae was selected, along with Ed Reed, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Johnny Robinson, Tony Gonzalez, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt.
"I started playing this game when I was 8 years old," Mawae said, according to NorthJersey.com's Art Stapleton. "I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I'd be a Hall of Famer. It was never a goal of mine. I just loved the game. I wanted to play it the best I could possibly play it. I did that at Leesville High School and at LSU and in my time in the NFL. It's surreal."
A seven-time first-team All Pro, eight-time Pro Bowler and member of the Jets' Ring of Honor was one of 15 year finalists last year but fell short in a class that featured Randy Moss, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher.
The former Gang Green member previously told ESPN's Rich Cimini he'd be "lying" if he said it wouldn't bother him if he didn't get in.
"This year, it might hurt more because people are saying this is my time," he had said. "We'll see. I'm hopeful."
The Class of 2019 will be enshrined in Canton on Aug. 3.