Before head coach David Shaw, quarterback Andrew Luck and three consecutive BCS bowl appearances, there was quarterback John Elway. He was one of the greatest to ever play the game at any level and will be honored later this year for his accomplishments.
Elway will have his No. 7 jersey retired during halftime of the high-profile game on Nov. 7 against the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium, according to Ben Kercheval of College Football Talk. As if the game needed any more reason to draw the attention of Stanford fans, this would be it.
Today is an exciting day for Stanford football, and you can’t talk about Stanford football without talking about John Elway, said Cardinal coach David Shaw in a statement. Like Frankie Albert and Jim Plunkett before him, John’s Elway’s greatness set the standard for quarterback play for a generation of athletes.
He will become just the third Stanford player to have his jersey retired, joining No.1 Ernie Nevers and No. 16 Jim Plunkett.
Elway spent four seasons with Stanford (1979-82) and threw for 9,349 yards and 77 touchdowns. He was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American selection in 1982 when he led the nation with 24 touchdown passes. He will also be forever linked to "The Play," when Cal beat Stanford 25-20 in one of the most memorable games in college football history.
Is John Elway the greatest Stanford player ever?
Elway holds the school single-game record with six touchdown passes and helped put Stanford football on the map. Although the team didn't qualify for a bowl appearance during Elway's days, the excitement and flair he played with made people take notice.
Ask today's quarterbacks who they idolized growing up and Elway's name is guaranteed to pop up. He was a dual-threat before running quarterbacks became popular, and he had a tremendous gift of being able to make a play when all hope seemed lost.
Elway is honored by this tribute and is looking forward to being in attendance during the big event, per the Kercheval report.
I am extremely humbled that Stanford has chosen to recognize me in this very special way, Elway said. It’s a tremendous honor to join Cardinal legends Ernie Nevers and Jim Plunkett with this distinction.
Being a student-athlete at Stanford and earning my degree from the school are two things I take the utmost pride in accomplishing. Without question, my four years at Stanford played an integral role in who I am and any success I’ve had. In particular, my teammates and coaches deserve so much credit for making me better, both on and off the field.
I will always cherish my time on campus as well as the friendships from Stanford that have lasted more than 30 years. I look forward to returning for this occasion and celebrating with the great Cardinal fans.
Elway also played baseball for Stanford and was drafted in the second round by the New York Yankees in the 1981 MLB draft. Luckily for fans everywhere, he decided to stick to football and went on to have a remarkable NFL career where he won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos and was a 2004 NFL Hall of Fame inductee.