Darrelle Revis Gives Pitt 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers
Former Pitt and Aliquippa High School cornerback Darrelle Revis makes history as the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced him as an inductee in the Class of 2023 Thursday night.
Revis had a stellar career across all three levels of football. He helped the Quips (2000-03) to two WPIAL Class 2A Titles in 2000 and 2003 and then won the PIAA Class-2A Title in 2003 to cap it off, scoring five touchdowns himself in the game.
At Pitt (2004-06), functioning as a cornerback and punt returner, he earned first-team All-American Freshman honors in 2004, placed on the first-team All-Big East in 2005-06 and made it as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, honoring the best defensive back in the country, in 2006.
The New York Jets selected him as the 14th overall player in the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent eight total seasons with the team (2007-12, 2015-16) earning a spot in the New York Jets Ring of Honor. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2014.
Revis made 496 tackles (411 solo), nine tackles for loss, 29 interceptions, three returned for touchdowns, 139 pass breakups, six forced fumbles and recovered 12 over his career. He made seven Pro Bowls, placed on the first-team All-Pro four times and is a part of the NFL 2010s decade team.
Revis’ enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame makes him the tenth Pitt player to earn a spot with the greatest players of all time. This list includes Jimbo Covert, Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Tony Dorsett, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dan Marino, Curtis Martin and Joe Schmidt.
Pitt is now the fifth school to have at least 10 or more players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pitt and Ohio State are in fourth place with 10 players, Michigan is in third place with 11 players and both USC and Notre Dame are in first place with 14 players each.
Covert starred for Pitt (1978-82), starting his last three seasons and earning unanimous All-American honors in 1982. He played nine seasons for the Chicago Bears (1983-91), where he’d earn two Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro honors in 1985 and 1986. His play anchored a great Chicago team to their only Super Bowl title in the 1985 season.
Joining Covert on that offensive line during that time was Grimm (1977-80), who served as the center for Pitt during that time. He then played for the Washington Redskins for 11 seasons (1981-91), winning three Super Bowls and earning four Pro Bowls and first-team All-Pros from 1983-86.
Marino played behind both Covert and Grimm during his time as the signal caller for the Panthers. He threw for 8,597 yards and 79 touchdowns in his four seasons starting for the Panthers (1979-82). He threw for 37 touchdowns as a junior in 1981 and earned first-team All-American honors.
Marino then played for the Miami Dolphins for 17 seasons (1983-99) featuring as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the league. He led the NFL in passing yards five times, passing touchdowns three times, made nine Pro Bowls, made three Second-Team All-Pro and also made three first-team All-Pro. His 1984 season saw him led the league in passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating en route to the NFL naming him MVP.
Dorsett played for Pitt from 1973-76 and many consider him the greatest player in program history. He starred at running back, earning first-team All-American honors three times. His 1976 season featured him rushing for a Pitt-record 2,150 yards, which led him to win the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award and the Heisman trophy. Dorsett also helped Pitt win its last national championship in that 1976 season.
Dorsett spent the next 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1977-87) where he would continue his great play. He made four Pro Bowls, two second-team All-Pro in 1982-83 and a first-team All-Pro in 1983. Dorsett also had a great rookie season in 1977, rushing for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, which earned him the honor NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and provided help for Dallas in their Super Bowl win that year. He ranks 10th all-time with 12,739 rushing yards in NFL history.
Martin is another great running back that starred more in the NFL than during his time for Pitt (1991-94), as injuries plagued his college career. Martin played for three seasons with the New England Patriots (1995-97) before finishing his final eight seasons with the Jets (1998-2005).
Martin made five Pro Bowls, two second-team All-Pro honors and won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1995. He also led the NFL in rushing in 2004 with 1,697 yards, earning him first-team All-Pro honors. He ranks sixth all-time with 14,101 rushing yards in NFL history.
Ditka played great for the Panthers at the tight end position (1958-60) but also played linebacker, defensive end and even punter. He earned unanimous All-American honors as a senior in 1960.
He then played for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys in a 13-year NFL career. Playing mainly at tight end, Ditka starred during his time with the Bears (1961-66), where he made five straight Pro Bowls, earned three second-team All-Pro honors and two first-team All-Pro honors as well. He helped Chicago to an NFL Championship in 1963 and is also a member of the NFL 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.
Most people recognize Ditka for his work as head coach of Chicago from 1982-92. Ditka built a great defense and led the franchise to their greatest period of success, winning a Super Bowl with Covert in 1985. He earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1985 and 1988.
Jackson made 290 tackles and 21 sacks during his time with Pitt (1977-80) at linebacker. His best season came as a senior in 1980, when he earned second-team All-American honors.
Jackson made his mark in the NFL, especially during his 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints (1981-93). He made seven Pro Bowls, earned second-team All-Pro honors fives times and led the NFL in forced fumbles four times during his time with New Orleans. Jackson played his final two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (1994-95), where he won the 1994 Super Bowl.
Schmidt played linebacker for the Panthers for three seasons (1950-52) and earned first-team All-American honors as a senior.
Like Jackson, Schmidt became a star in the NFL, playing 13 seasons for the Detroit Lions (1953-65). He made 10 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1954-1963, earned first-team All-Pro honors twice and second-team All-Pro honors eight times. Schmidt won two NFL Championships in 1953 and 1957, earning him a spot on the NFL 1950s All-Decade team and the NFL 100th Anniversary Team.
Doleman played as a linebacker and mainly as a defensive end for Pitt from 1981-84. His 26.5 career sacks are eighth-most for a Pitt player in program history.
He played his best years with the Minnesota Vikings (1985-93), making six Pro Bowls, earning two second-team All-Pro honors and three first-team All-Pro honors. Doleman led the league in sacks in 1989 with 21 and forced fumbles in 1987 with six. Doleman is in fifth place all-time in NFL history with 150.5 career sacks.
Revis also joins Ditka and Ty Law, who played his college ball at Michigan, as the third Aliquippa player to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He is the 13th WPIAL Player to make the Hall of Fame, which includes George Blanda (Youngwood High School), Joe Montana (Ringgold), Bill George (Waynesburg), Joe Namath (Beaver Falls), Jason Taylor (Woodland Hills), Dorsett (Hopewell), Marino (Pittsburgh Central Catholic), Covert (Freedom), Schmidt (Brentwood) and Grimm (Southmoreland).
Covert is the last Pitt player or WPIAL player to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2020.
Johnny Unitas played for the now-defunct St. Justin’s in the old Pittsburgh Catholic League, while Martin played for Allderdice in the City League.
“TEN PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMERS!”
Hard to believe that of 130 FBS schools, only three of them have more Pro Football Hall of Fame members than Pitt…incredible accomplishment!
Guess they’ll have to hang another banner at Acrisure.
Larry Fitz is next, and Aaron Donald will eventually be there as well- both first ballot for sure.
And Shady will get there too; not on the first ballot, but in time.
Also Syracuse and Minnesota have more hall of fame members than Penn State.