Former USC offensive lineman Bruce Matthews was elected to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame today as he becomes USC's 11th player to be elected to the Hall of Fame an accomplishment that makes USC #1 in college football. HT: Tribute to Troy
But Matthews was the only person in his first year of eligibility, and he became the 59th elected on his first ballot.
Warren Moon, the former Houston quarterback who was inducted last year, said Matthews deserved to make it on his first ballot.
"He was one of the most versatile offensive linemen to ever play the game, earning Pro Bowls at two different positions and playing well enough at a third to earn a spot," Moon said. "I personally owe a lot of my success to him."
... Eddie George played six of his nine seasons behind Matthews and called him the consummate professional who taught by example.
"He was a quiet leader, but when he did speak up, he commanded everyone's attention," George said. "It was a privilege to run behind him as a running back. I brag all the time that I was able to play with Bruce.
An all around classy guy.
His versatility enabled him to play every position on the offensive line thus earning him Pro-Bowl Selections at two different positions. Overall he was selected 14 times and was an all-Pro 9 times. He played 296 games, more than any other non-kicker at the time of his retirement and only Jerry Rice, who passed him at 303, played more.
From the Hall of Fame Website:
Guard, Tackle, Center, 6-5, 289 lbs Southern California. . .
1983-2001 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans. . .19 seasons, 296 games. . .
Selected by Houston in first round (9th player overall) 1983 NFL Draft. . .
Regarded as one of game's finest offensive linemen for nearly two decades. . .
Played in more games than any positional player in NFL history. . .
Three-time Offensive Lineman of the Year. . .
Started 292 of 296 games played and 15 playoff games in which he played. . .
Played at every position on line and was also team's long snapper for the majority of career. . .
Most starts came at guard position (99 on left side, 67 as right guard) and 87 starts at center, had 22 starts at right tackle, 17 at left tackle. He was the anchor on offensive line that contributed to the team's seven consecutive playoff seasons. . .
Named to first of 14 consecutive Pro Bowl teams (9 at guard, 5 at center) following 1988 season. His Pro Bowl selections tied Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen for most ever. He was named All-Pro 9 times (1988-1993, 1998-2000) and All-AFC 12 times (1988-1993, 1995-2000) and was selected as guard on NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. . .
Born August 8, 1961 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
We Congratulate Bruce and thank him for many great memories and a great career.
FIGHT ON Bruce!