On Saturday evening, what many had speculated early in the process came true. Former Miami Hurricanes linebacker Ray Lewis was named a member of the 2018 class for NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.
First ballot. He’s in.— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) February 3, 2018
Congratulations to one of the best to ever wear the orange and green. pic.twitter.com/E7Q5LF4kWz
Lewis, in his first year of eligibility, was named to the class. To be inducted candidates need a minimum of 80% of votes in their favor to become an enshrinee.
A former two-way star from Kathleen High School, Lewis enrolled at the University of Miami after receiving a late scholarship offer from then head coach Dennis Erickson to UM. Starting in 1993, the college football world began to hear about the up-and-coming linebacker for the Hurricanes after Lewis started at middle linebacker as a true freshman. In his first season at Coral Gables, the roving middle linebacker put together an impressive stat line of 81 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and four pass defenses. Lewis would go on to be a freshman All-American at the conclusion of the season. Not bad for a guy who received the last full-ride scholarship in his recruiting class.
The following two years at UM went along a similar path, with #52 instilling fear in his opponents and delivering punishing blows from sideline to sideline. Lewis would go on to be a two-time ALL-BIG EAST and ALL-American selection after the 1994 and ‘95 season respectively.
Known for his range on defense, there simply was not a spot on the field that a ball carrier could go without seeing, or hearing, Lewis close in to make the play. It’s not a wonder that the 153 tackles in his sophomore season and the 160 tackles as a junior are among the higher totals by any Hurricane defender.
After his junior season in 1995, Lewis opted to turn pro, declaring for the 1996 NFL Draft. Lewis was taken 26th overall by the Baltimore Ravens, who were an expansion team at the time. Lewis would ultimately become the longest-tenured Raven in the franchises’ history, along with securing a spot among the Mount Rushmore of greatest linebackers to play in the NFL.
After an impressive 16 seasons in the league, the accolades for Lewis are gems in what is now a Hall of Fame resume. A two-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXV, XLVII), Super Bowl XLVII MVP, seven-time First Team All-Pro, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2000 and 2003) and 13 Pro Bowls, there was little doubt that Lewis would hear his name called to the Hall as soon as he was eligible. Lewis becomes the second player in Ravens’ history to be named to the Hall of Fame.
Lewis now joins these fellow UM alums in Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Congratulations, Ray, on your accomplishment.
NOTE: There has been no word if #NotRayLewis will be travelling to Canton for the enshrinement ceremony in August.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!