by Caleb Thomas
Troy Alumnus DeMarcus Ware Inducted Into Pro Football Hall of Fame
After a long and decorated football career, DeMarcus Ware stepped up to the podium at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio and delivered his speech. That speech on August 5 signified a special moment, where the former Trojan officially became the first Troy player to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Troy was the only school that offered Ware a scholarship, according to his induction speech. He took that opportunity and made the most of it, becoming the program’s all-time leader in tackles for loss by the time he left Troy for the NFL.
At a time when the football program was transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision, Ware dominated on the defensive front.
“DeMarcus’ excellent leadership and on-field performance contributed greatly to our successful transition to the highest level of NCAA football and set the stage for the unprecedented success we are enjoying under Coach Jon Sumrall,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor in a February interview with the Tropolitan. “DeMarcus is a true Trojan who has set the standard for our student-athletes to follow.”
Ware struck fear into opposing offenses during his entire career, and his 2004 season with the Trojans is a prime example. He recorded 53 tackles and 10.5 sacks on his way to winning the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year award. During that season, the Trojans upset a ranked Missouri team and made the first bowl appearance in school history.
After his stellar year with the Trojans, the Dallas Cowboys picked Ware in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Ware became the first Trojan and Sun Belt Conference player to be drafted in the first round.
Ware’s 2005 rookie campaign kicked off a long stretch of success in the NFL – he recorded 50 or more tackles in eight straight seasons from 2005 to 2012, including two 84-tackle years in 2007 and 2008.
Over the course of his 12-year NFL career, Ware was selected for nine Pro Bowls and four First-Team All-Pro squads. He also brought home a Super Bowl ring, winning the 2015 title with the Denver Broncos. Ware was also selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade team.
The University has announced that the season opener on September 2 will celebrate Ware and his outstanding career.