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tBBC Orlando Pace is heading to Canton

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Orlando Pace is heading to Canton
    jcollingsworth
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


    [​IMG]
    The great Orlando Pace of The Ohio State University who reigned havoc on opposing defenses from 1994-1996, doing likewise in the NFL, primarily with the St. Louis Rams before ending a fabled 13-year career in the Pro’s was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The announcement came Saturday evening during the “NFL Honors” event in San Francisco.

    The honor has added to the prestige for the Buckeyes and former players’ contributions to the NFL. Orlando is the eighth former player for The Ohio State University to be elected to the Pro Football of Fame and the eleventh overall. Other players have been: Cris Carter (Class of 2013), Dick LeBeau (2010), Paul Warfield (1993), Bill Willis (1977), Dante Lavelli (1975), Lou Groza (1974) and Jim Parker (1973). Ohio State Coaches Sid Gillman (1983) and Paul Brown (1967), along with 1930’s era swimmer Ed Sabol (2011) for his work with NFL Films, are also in the Hall of Fame.

    After his dominance in High School football out of Sandusky, Ohio Orlando travelled south to Columbus where he continued to rule at the next level. For the Buckeyes the moment he stepped onto the field he was a starter. Other outstanding accomplishments followed:

    • In 1995 Orlando would become the first sophomore to win the
    Lombardi Award.
    • In 1996 he’d repeat – becoming the first to ever win the Lombardi
    Award twice.
    • In 1995 and 1996 he was a first-team consensus All-American.
    • He was also first-team All-Big Ten Conference in 1995 & 1996.
    • In 1996 he would wind up in the top 4 vote getters for the Heisman;
    not since OSU’s John Hicks way back in 1972 had this been
    accomplished
    • Orlando was the first overall pick of the 1997 NFL Draft – going to
    the St. Louis Rams

    Pace would start every OSU game – 38 total between 1994-96 before bypassing his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. The 6’6”, 330-pound Pace helped to institute what has become known as the “pancake block”. In his junior year alone he sat-down opposing players 80 times. His strength and determination was of legend.

    The awards were routine for Mr. Pace. In 1996 he’d take home the Outland Trophy and was named Football News and the Big Ten Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He’d be further honored in 1996 with the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football as the Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten. He would also be a finalist for the Maxwell Award. His teammates voted him the team’s MVP in 1996 as his efforts helped the team to be Big Ten co-champions. Lest we forgot with all of these notable recognitions that he was also Freshman of the Year in 1994 and the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1995 and 1996.

    Orlando Pace was heavily hyped as he was departing The Ohio State University for the NFL draft. The NY Jets were lining up to be the first team to choose but when Peyton manning decided to stay one more year at Tennessee they traded the number 1 pick to the St. Louis Rams. The 6’7”, 320-pound lineman would become the first overall pick in 1997 by the Rams. Pace would be the first lineman taken first overall since Ron Yary in 1968.

    Orlando Pace was the anchor of a potent Rams offense that quickly transformed into a perennial winner. The Rams were soon known as the “greatest show on turf” who had produced in three consecutive seasons more than 500 points and ranking as the NFL’s highest rated offense (1999-2001). The 1999 Rams slammed out a league-high 6,412 yards of offense on their way to a 13-3 record and a NFC Western Division Title. The Rams took on the Vikings and the Buccaneers before capitalizing on an insanely exciting 23-16 victory in Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans. The win marked the franchise’s first-ever NFL title since 1951.

    Orlando Pace’s dominance of opposing defenses was legendary. In 2000 his assistance in the protection of QB Kurt Warner allowed for his explosive numbers to be what they were. He also opened holes for Hall of Fame runner Marshall Faulk who would be the League’s MVP after scoring a league leading 26 TD’s. The St. Louis Rams became the first team in NFL history to accumulate more than 7,000 yards of offense while scoring 540 points.

    In 2001 the Rams returned to the Super Bowl. With a 14-2 mark, bypassing Green Bay and Philadelphia, they earned the right to appear in Super Bowl XXXVI against the New England Patriots. They would depart disappointed though as the Patriots kicked a game-winning field goal with time expired.

    Orlando Pace would be named All-Pro in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. He was selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls.

    In total, Orlando played in 169 career games which included 11 with the Chicago Bears as he ended his career in 2009.

    He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000’s.

    In addition to all of these tributes Sports Illustrated has placed him on the NCAA’s Football All-Century team. In 2011 he was voted unanimously into the Ohio State’s Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame enshrined Orlando in 2014. He is only the third Buckeye to be so enshrined in both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Bill Willis and Jim Parker.

    Orlando Pace is more than deserving of this recognition. It is indeed a great day for him and his family in this announcement, but equally for all of The Ohio State University community.

    Most Pro Football Hall of Famers (by College)
    USC – 12
    Notre Dame – 12
    *Ohio State – 10
    Michigan – 8
    Pittsburgh – 8
    Syracuse – 8
    Alabama – 8
    Illinois – 6
    Miami, Florida – 6
    Minnesota – 6

    *The Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes Paul Brown as a Miami (Ohio) inductee.

    The post Orlando Pace is heading to Canton appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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