Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith has been elected to the team's Ring of Fame, owner Pat Bowlen announced on Thursday:
"Players like Rod don’t come through your door very often, but he came through ours every day with a purpose and hunger to be great," Bowlen said in a statement. "Rod’s production and numbers -- as outstanding as they were -- paled in comparison to his commitment to winning and the respect he commanded from each and every one of his teammates throughout his career. Emerging from an undrafted player to one of the best to ever play his position, Rod has truly earned his place among the greatest Broncos of all time."
His induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 23, at halftime of the home game against the Houston Texans. Smith becomes the first player elected since tight end Shannon Sharpe entered in 2009. Smith joins Lionel Taylor and Haven Moses as the only receivers in the Ring of Fame.
Smith was an undrafted free agent from Missouri Southern State who went on to lead the Broncos several franchise receiving categories. His receptions (849), yards (11,389) and touchdowns (65) are franchise records for a career in the regular season.
Here is a complete list of the current members of the Ring of Fame:
|Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin, S, 1960–66, inducted 1984|
|Rich Jackson, DE, 1967–72, inducted 1984|
|Floyd Little, RB, 1967–75, inducted 1984|
|Lionel Taylor, WR, 1960–66, inducted 1984|
|Gerald Phipps, Owner, 1961–81, inducted 1985|
|Charley Johnson, QB, 1972–75, inducted 1986|
|Paul Smith, DE, 1968–78, inducted 1986|
|Frank Tripucka, QB, 1960–63, inducted 1986|
|Billy Thompson, S, 1969–81, inducted 1987|
|Craig Morton, QB, 1977–82, inducted 1988|
|Haven Moses, WR, 1972–81, inducted 1988|
|Jim Turner, K, 1971–79, inducted 1988|
|Randy Gradishar, LB, 1974–83, inducted 1989|
|Tom Jackson, LB, 1973–86, inducted 1992|
|Louis Wright, S, 1975–86, inducted 1993|
|John Elway, QB, 1983–98, inducted 1999|
|Karl Mecklenburg, LB, 1983–95, inducted 2001|
|Dennis Smith, S, 1981–94, inducted 2001|
|Gary Zimmerman, OT, 1993–97, inducted 2003|
|Steve Atwater, S, 1989–98, inducted 2005|
|Terrell Davis, RB, 1995–2001, inducted 2007|
|Shannon Sharpe, TE, 1990–99, 2002–03, inducted 2009|
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