USC All-American and NFL All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 1. He will be inducted in ceremonies on Aug. 7-9 in Canton, Ohio.
Seau becomes the 12th Trojan player — tied for most of any school (Notre Dame is the other) — in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Marcus Allen, Red Badgro, Frank Gifford, Ronnie Lott, Bruce Matthews, Ron Mix, Anthony Munoz, O.J. Simpson, Lynn Swann, Willie Wood and Ron Yary. Former USC assistant coaches Al Davis, Joe Gibbs and Mel Hein also are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Known for his high-energy, passion and intensity, Seau was one of the most exciting and dominant linebackers in USC — and pro football — history. The 2-year (1988-89) Trojan letterman earned All-American first team and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year laurels in 1989. USC went 19-4-1 in his career and appeared in two Rose Bowls. He made 107 tackles as a Trojan, including 33 for a loss (with 27 of those coming in 1989). He helped popularize the No. 55 jersey now worn often by USC’s top linebacker. He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Bypassing his senior season at USC, Seau was the fifth pick of the 1990 NFL draft and played 20 years with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. He played in 12 Pro Bowls, was named All-Pro eight times and appeared in two Super Bowls. In his NFL career, he recorded 1,849 tackles with 56.5 sacks and had 18 interceptions. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 and AFC Player of the Year in 1994, and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. He was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1994 for his volunteer and charity work through the Junior Seau Foundation. A member of the Chargers Hall of Fame, his No. 55 number was retired by the Chargers.
Seau died on May 2, 2012, at the age of 43.
Also voted into the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class: Tim Brown, WR; Jerome Bettis, RB; Charles Haley, DE/LB; Will Shields, G; Bill Polian, contributor; Ron Wolf, contributor; Mick Tingelhoff, C.