Penn State All-American and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee Jack Ham presented the “Hometown Hall of Famer” plaque to the school Friday night — making it the 113th school and just second college to become an “Official School of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
“I’m so honored to be part of this program,” Ham said. “I think giving back to Penn State is something I really needed to do, so in some small way, giving this back right now is honoring Penn State. It’s very special to me.”
The Johnstown, PA, native dates back to the origins of Linebacker U at Penn State, helping Joe Paterno to his first two undefeated seasons with the Nittany Lions in 1968 and 1969 before captaining the team and earning All-American honors in 1970. He became a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1990.
Ham went on to win four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was an eight-time Pro Bowler before earning his Pro Football Hall of Fame honor, which was presented to him by Joe Paterno.
“Talking to a lot of Hall of Fame guys, they always would have two or three people that they would want to choose from that would be their presenter at the Hall of Fame,” Ham said. “I didn’t have that problem. There was no one else that I would want to present me at the Hall of Fame than Joe Paterno. Joe Paterno and the coaching staff had more confidence early on for me than I really had for myself.”
Offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf presented the honor to Michigan in November of last year, which made his alma mater the first university to earn the “Hometown Hall of Famer” plaque.
Penn State has six Pro Football Hall of Famers — Ham, Franco Harris, Mike Michalske, Lenny Moore, Mike Munchak, and Dave Robinson.