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Penn State football legend to be honored by NFL Hall of Fame

One of the best to ever do it for Penn State football will be honored by Canton again this summer.



Penn State football legend, Penn State football, NFL Hall of Fame
Oct 13, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Former Penn State Nittany Lions players Franco Harris (left) and Jack Ham (right) greet fans prior to the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best to ever take the field for the Blue and White will be honored by Canton again this summer. Earlier in June, it was announced that Penn State football legend Jack Ham would be celebrated as part of the 35th anniversary of his initial induction to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1988. Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame released its video lauding Ham’s career and excellence both on and off the field.

Penn State football legend Jack Ham to be honored by NFL Hall of Fame

In June, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the list of 10 anniversary classes that will be honored in 2023. These classes will be honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 Enshirement ceremony on August 5. The Class of 1988, which includes Jack Ham, Mike Ditka, Fred Biletnikoff, and Alan Page, will be recognized as part of their 35th anniversary.

A centerpiece of the “Steel Curtain” defense, Jack Ham played linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers for his entire NFL career from 1971 to 1982. In addition to being a four-time Super Bowl champion, Ham made eight Pro Bowls and had seven All-Pro selections as a member of the Steelers’ organization.

Jack Ham played at Penn State during the early days of Joe Paterno’s head coaching tenure from 1968 to 1970. A consensus All-American in his final year, Ham was a critical component of the Nittany Lions’ 31-game unbeaten streak (with one tie) running from 1967 to 1970. Ham’s Penn State career was capped with an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Of course, Ham still remains associated with the Nittany Lion program as the color analyst on the Penn State football radio broadcasts in the fall.

“I enjoyed playing the game,” Ham said in the archived video released by the Pro Football Hall of Fame last week. “I mean, it was so much fun. And I never thought it was a job to me, going down to the stadium and practicing or going to training camp. It was a lot of fun for me. I’m sure the older I get, the better I’ll think I played.”

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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