On the eve of Super Bowl LI, Kenny Easley got the ultimate phone call. The Chesapeake native will be one of 7 new inductees into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class of 2017. The 58 year old got in as a senior nominee (a player whose career ended 25 years ago). Easley was a standout at Oscar Smith High School where he played quarterback. He was the first Virginia player to pass and rush for 1,000 yards each in a season.
Easley would move on to UCLA where he starred for 4 years. He was the first player in league history (then the PAC-10) to earn all-conference four times. Seattle picked Easley 4th overall in the 1981 NFL Draft. He went on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with 3 interceptions and a touchdown.
He went on to be a Pro Bowler for four straight years from 1982-1985 and helped lead the Seahawks to the AFC title game in 1983 where he also won AFC Defensive Player of the Year. Easley had to retire in 1988 when doctors discovered he had a rare kidney ailment. He eventually got a kidney replacement in 1990. Easley joins running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, along with quarterback, Kurt Warner. The rest include defensive end, Jason Taylor kicker, Morten Andersen and Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones.