4 Morgan State alumni who’re within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame

The Morgan State College Bears have had a wealthy historical past of manufacturing proficient soccer gamers who’ve reached the apex {of professional} soccer. Below the management of legendary coaches equivalent to Eddie Harm and Earl “Papa Bear” Banks, 53 Morgan State Bears have performed professionally with 39 of these gamers getting alternatives within the NFL.

4 former Bears have been inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Immediately, we highlight the trailblazing alumni of Morgan State who achieved one in every of soccer’s highest honors.

Len Ford

Len Ford performed for one season at Morgan State below head coach Eddie Harm. Standing at 6’5″, he additionally performed on the establishment’s basketball group, beginning at heart. The Bears basketball group in Ford’s time on the group even received a championship. Ford left Morgan State after he joined the U.S. Navy. He then transferred to the College of Michigan.

Ford performed for Michigan for 3 seasons together with the 1947 season, which many take into account the perfect group in Michigan historical past. The 1947 Wolverines group completed with a 10-0 document and shared the title of the 1947 Faculty Soccer Champions with Notre Dame.

Regardless of his expertise, Ford wasn’t chosen within the 1948 NFL draft. Nevertheless, he was drafted within the third spherical of the 1948 AAFC Draft by the Los Angeles Dons. After enjoying for 2 seasons with the Dons, Ford transitioned to the NFL when his group merged with the Cleveland Browns in 1950.

His profession took a dynamic flip with the Browns as he was reworked right into a defensive finish, a task wherein he excelled spectacularly. Ford was a key part of the Browns’ dominant protection, which received three Tremendous Bowls in 1950, 1954, and 1955.

Ford earned 4 Professional Bowl choices and was chosen to be on the NFL Nineteen Fifties All-Decade Crew. Ford was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1976.

Leroy Kelly

Kelly was a standout athlete that was afforded a partial scholarship to attend Morgan State and a job. He performed below legendary coach Earl Banks, who tried him at quarterback earlier than putting him on the runningback place. He noticed immense success in his 4 years with the Bears, enjoying on each offense and protection whereas additionally rising as a group chief in his senior season. In his time with Morgan State, they received the 1962 CIAA Championship.

He obtained vital curiosity from just a few NFL groups on the time such because the Baltimore Colts however many groups handed on him due to his measurement. Nevertheless, the Cleveland Browns took an opportunity on Kelly and drafted him within the eighth spherical of the 1964 NFL Draft. When Jim Brown retired, Kelly served as his successor and led the group to immense success. He led the NFL in dashing for 2 seasons, 1967 and 1968, and in touchdowns from 1966 to 1968.

He was named to the Professional Bowl six occasions and was chosen First-Crew All-Professional 3 times. He was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1994.

Willie Lanier

Willie Lanier performed below Earl Banks for the Morgan State Bears. Popping out of highschool, he solely obtained a scholarship supply from Virginia State College however finally ended up with the Bears. To attend Morgan State he needed to take an entrance examination that he in the end handed and scored within the high 10% of all members. Though there have been no tutorial scholarships accessible, Banks was in a position to safe one for him

Lanier was quickly named co-captain of the Bears soccer group and the captain his senior yr. He performed each defensive snap and even performed on the offensive line. Lanier’s 1965 group held opponents to 732 yards in whole offense all through your entire season. The protection was the important thing of a 32-game successful streak and two bowl sport appearances with Lanier’s expertise as an offensive lineman and linebacker being a key characteristic of their success.

After his immense success at Morgan State, he was drafted by the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the 1967 NFL draft with the fiftieth decide. He performed for the Chiefs for 11 seasons, changing into one of many high linebackers within the NFL. He aided within the Chief’s successful Tremendous Bowl IV in 1970 and was named to eight Professional Bowls and was chosen First-Crew All-Professional 4 occasions. He was inducted within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1986.

Rosey Brown

Roosevelt “Rosey” Brown performed for Morgan State below Eddie Harm in 1951 & 1952. He was an adept offensive lineman who obtained vital honors in his time enjoying with the Bears, together with being named an All-CIAA Choice in each of his seasons and being chosen as a first-team offensive sort out for the Pittsburgh Courier in 1952.

Upon commencement, he was drafted by the New York Giants with the 322nd decide within the twenty seventh spherical of the 1953 NFL Draft. He performed for the Giants from 1953 to 1965 and was a key piece of their offensive line, blocking for the operating again trio of Mel Triplett, Alex Webster, and Frank Gifford. His distinctive offensive line play aided the Giants in successful six division championships and in the end successful a championship in 1956.

Brown was named to 9 Professional Bowls and was a First-Crew All-Professional six occasions. He was additionally named to the NFL Nineteen Fifties All-Decade Crew NFL seventy fifth Anniversary All-Time Crew, and vNFL one hundredth Anniversary All-Time Crew and was inducted into the New York Giants Ring of Honor.

He was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1974.

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