Did you that Kentucky has a Pro Football Hall Of Fame? Did you know that Kentucky is the only state in the union that has a pro football hall of fame? Well, it’s true and the next class gets honored in just a couple of weeks. All five players will be inducted on the weekend of June 20th at the Lexington Opera House and there are two that you might be very familiar with.
JOIN US IN HONORING THE #2019 #INDUCTEES OF THE #KENTUCKY PRO #FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME > Visit FB for more info #JoeJohnson #ChampBailey#CoreyPeters#DavidCarter#LouMichaels#KYProFootballHOF #Saints #broncos #azcardinals #baltimorecolts #greenbaypackers #LexKY #NFL #HOF pic.twitter.com/XherHC8zQ9
— KY PRO FOOTBALL HOF (@nflkyhof) June 5, 2019
Corey Peters was a huge recruiting win for Rich Brooks in the class of 2006 and the Louisville Central High School alum decided to spurn Lloyd Carr’s Michigan program to play for the Big Blue. In Lexington, Peters collected 11.5 sacks to go along with 27 tackles for loss in his career where he was a key cog in defenses that went to four straight bowl games under Brooks from 2006-2009. Peters was a second-team All-SEC member in his senior season and would be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Peters spent five seasons in Atlanta and was a rookie on the 2010 team that had the best record in the NFC before falling to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on their way to a Super Bowl title. After 2014, Peters signed on with the Arizona Cardinals and has been there ever since. The defensive tackle is signed through 2020 and is coming off one of the best seasons of his professional career.
Joining Peters in this Hall of Fame class will be fellow Wildcat and two-time Pro Bowler Lou Michaels. The Pennsylvania native played for Blanton Collier at Kentucky from 1955-1957 before becoming the fourth overall pick in the 1958 NFL Draft. Michaels, a defensive end and kicker, spent 14 seasons in the NFL playing for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Colts, and Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992 and unfortunately passed away in 2016 at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Michaels is probably best remembered in UK lore for a quote he gave following the Wildcats beating Tennessee by two touchdowns in 1957. Following the game, Michaels stated that “Nothing sucks like a Big Orange” and he’s got a valid point. Maybe Mark Stoops will drop that line again 62 years later when the Cats take down the Vols at Kroger Field this fall.
This Hall of Fame does have a unique rule in that it can enroll any player that played in the state at a certain point in their life or was born here. Former Georgia star and All-American Champ Bailey was a 12-time pro bowler and 7-time All-Pro in the NFL, but before all that it started in the Bluegrass. Bailey was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky before moving to Georgia. In addition to the Kentucky version, Bailey was also inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this season.
To round out the class, Joe Johnson played at Louisville before playing defensive end for the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. David Carter played at WKU before lasting nearly a decade as an offensive guard in the NFL.
Congrats to all those on a great honor and what a cool thing the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame has going to honor the best of the best on the gridiron with a connection to this state.