Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu certainly had a Hall of Fame career, and now, after yesterday, he can truly attest to that fact following his enshrinement. No, not into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or even the College Football Hall of Fame, but rather the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Polamalu was one of 19 athletes who entered into USC’s ranks in yesterday’s class, along with a horse named Traveler. Among the others entering in this class via the football route were Rod Sherman and Charlie Weaver. He spoke with the team’s website prior to the event.
“It’s something that you don’t really ever think about while you’re living the process. I don’t really think about my career when I think about USC”, he said of what his enshrinement means to him. “I think about my teammates and I think about the time we had living it with my teammates at 1013. That is what I think about. I think about in the locker room stuff. I don’t think about anything really regarding sports or anything that happened on the field”.
He said that the fact that he got to hear from USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann, a Hall of Fame Steeler, that he had been chosen for the school’s Hall of Fame is what really helped make it an honor for him. “It is really an honor to hear from somebody like that and to be connected with this amazing class and the previous Hall of Famers”.
The whole interview is a very Troy Polamalu one. Anybody who has listened to him during interviews over the years wouldn’t be surprised by any of the answers that he gave. When asked about his greatest accomplishment as a USC Trojan, he said it was meeting his wife.
While he did talk about the excitement of advancing to bowl games later on in his Trojan career, his interests seemed to lie mainly off the field, and naturally he talked about how much it meant to be able to go back during the lockout in 2011 to finish his degree, since he declared for the draft as an underclassman.
Polamalu recorded six interceptions, including three that were returned for touchdowns, while he played for the Trojans. He had 278 tackles, and even blocked four punts. The Steelers made the rare move of trading up in the first round to get him, but that was probably a good call.
He would go on to have a 12-year career in Pittsburgh, compiling 770 tackles, 12 sacks, 32 interceptions, and 14 forced fumbles. He will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a couple of years, and it shouldn’t take him very long to get in.