Vikings Great Ron Yary Inducted into Rose Bowl Hall of Fame

Zeke Fuhrman@@mellamoelzekeAnalyst IIIJanuary 2, 2013

Already a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former offensive lineman Ron Yary has joined another elite group of players.

During halftime of the 99th Rose Bowl tonight, Yary was one of three icons inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Yary is now one of 18 USC Trojans inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Ron Yary is one of the great tackles in a long line of football stars at Southern California. During Yary's three seasons from 1965-67, the Trojans were 24-7-1, winning the Rose Bowl in 1967. Yary was a consensus All-American his junior year in 1966 and a unanimous All-American his senior year in 1967. He also on the Outland Trophy, given to the country's best interior lineman, and remains the only Trojan to win the award. 

The 6'5", 255-pound Yary possessed speed, agility, intelligence, a strong work ethic and size—everything necessary to be a successful NFL lineman.

He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the first overall pick in the 1968 draft, becoming the first offensive lineman taken with the first overall pick. Only two other offensive lineman have been selected first overall: Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jake Long in 2008. The Vikings acquired the pick from the New York Giants for Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. He took over the starting role during his second season.

Yary was a six-time first-team All-Pro selection, seven-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time all-NFC team selection during his 15-year career. He was a staple of Minnesota's success for 14 seasons before finishing his career with the LA Rams in 1982.

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With Yary on the team, the Vikings won 11 division titles and four NFC Championships from 1968-81. He was voted to the 1970s All-Decade team in 1979.

Also joining Yary in the Rose Bowl Hall of Famer are Arizona State/Ohio State coach John Cooper and Michigan Wolverine Brian Griese. Cooper is the only coach to win the Rose Bowl with a Pac-12 (1987) and Big Ten (1997) team. Griese was the Player of the Game of the 1998 Rose Bowl after capping off an undefeated Wolverine season with a 21-16 win over Washington State.