Detroit's Jerome Bettis elected to Hall of Fame

The Detroit News
Jerome Bettis is pictured earlier this month in Pittsburgh.

Jerome Bettis, a star running back at Detroit Mackenzie High and in the NFL, mostly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Saturday night was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bettis, 42, also starred at Notre Dame before being selected by the Rams in the first round (10th overall) of the 1993 NFL draft.

Bettis finished his 13-year NFL career with 13,662 rushing yards on 3,479 carries (3.9-yard average) and 91 TD.

He went out a Super Bowl champion as the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 on Feb. 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit. Bettis gained 43 yards on 14 carries in his final NFL game.

"I played the game of football with passion, with the desire to be a champion," Bettis told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "And in that drive to become a champion I have now put myself on the most sacred ground that a football player could ever be in and that's the Hall of Fame. I am humbled and grateful to all the voters who saw my career as being worthy of a gold jacket."

Bettis played in six Pro Bowls and was named First Team All-Pro in 1993 with the Rams and in 1996 with the Steelers. He finished second in the NFL in rushing yards in 1993 with 1,429 and third in 1996 with 1,431.

Bettis' 13,662 yards rushing rank fifth in NFL history and he had eight seasons of at least 1,000.

Bettis, nicknamed "The Bus," made the Hall of Fame in his fifth year of eligibility. Bettis will be inducted in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 8.

"To think a little fat kid who had never played football until high school," Bettis said, "to think I can ascend to this level, this is something I never thought of, never dreamed of."

Others elected for the 2015 Hall of Fame class were Junior Seau, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Will Shields.

The class also includes a pair of contributors, Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, along with senior selection Mick Tingelhoff.


NFL career: 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. Played 192 games over 13 seasons.

Notable: Selected by Rams in first round (10th overall) of 1993 draft. ... Earned Rookie of Year honors. ... Finished rookie season with seventh-best rookie rushing total in league history... As rookie finished second in rushing yards and third in total yards from scrimmage. ... First Rams rookie to rush for 1,000 yards since Eric Dickerson in 1983. ... Rams leading rusher 1993-95. ... Steelers leading rusher 1996-2001, 2003-04. ... Steelers leader in total yards from scrimmage, 1996-2001. ... His fifty 100-plus yard games ranks first in Steelers history. ... At time of retirement, his eight 1,000-plus yard seasons was tied for third-best in NFL history. ... His 13,662 ranks fifth all-time in career rushing yards. ... Ranked 19th all-time in combined net yards at time of retirement. ... Voted to Pro Bowl six times: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005.