Congrats to former Texas Tech Red Raider Gabe Rivera for being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (via @BlayneBeal). Rivera was an All-American at Texas Tech, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1993 and was added to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot in 2008:
Rivera is noted as being the most accomplished defensive lineman in Texas Tech history and was the leading tackler among Tech's down linemen for four straight years, averaging 80 tackles per season. The 1982 Associated Press First Team All-American still holds the school record for single-season tackles by a defensive lineman with 105. In his career at Tech, he totaled 321 tackles. Rivera was drafted in the first round of the 1983 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I was going to try to summarize Rivera's career, but that could have taken some time. Rivera's career was cut short half way through his rookie NFL season by a car accident caused by Rivera drinking and driving, leaving Rivera a paraplegic. Rivera has not let that hold him back:
“Gabe is an inspiration,” Eddie Canales said. “To be able get through this – and there are a lot of ups and downs with this type of injury – and staying involved is extremely important. Helping in the community and helping others with similar injuries is an inspiration because you’re doing your part, even though you have your own obstacles every day.”
On the field, Rivera could be a one-man wrecking ball. Watch for #69 in the video below:
Congrats to Rivera, what an incredible honor!
[Note by Seth C, 05/15/12 11:54 AM CDT ] The official site has a post, including quotes from President Guy Bailey and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt:
"The National Football Foundation has recognized one of the greatest Texas Tech players to wear the Double T in Gabe Rivera," Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt noted. "His impact on our football program was tremendous and his legacy at Texas Tech will be forever. We are grateful that his career has been recognized at the national level with induction into college football's most exclusive fraternity."