Orlando Pace returned to the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot this year after missing out on a selection in 2015 – he is finally seeing his dream come true! As one of the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes of all time and a star St. Louis Rams offensive lineman, Pace has rightfully been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Read more about his college and professional career below.
Pace earned a starting position at Ohio State from his first day as a freshman in 1994. He received a number of accolades during his time as a Buckeye. In 1995, he became the first sophomore to win the Lombardi Award. In 1996, he became the first ever to win the Lombardi Award twice. He was first-team consensus All-American and first-team all-Big Ten Conference in 1995 and 1996. He was also the first offensive lineman to finish among the Top 4 vote getters for the Heisman Trophy.
He started every single game for the Buckeyes before skipping his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. The “Pancake Man” made the “pancake block” famous by bringing an opposing player to the ground a reported 80 times.
His other accomplishments included:
- 1996 Outland Trophy Award
- 1996 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year
- 1996 Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football as the Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten
- 1996 Ohio State Team MVP
- 1994 Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year
- 1995 and 1996 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year
Orlando Pace was the selected by the St. Louis Rams as the first overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. He was the first offensive lineman to be the top pick of the draft since 1968. At 6’7” 320 pounds, Pace became one of the finest offensive linemen of his era.
Pace blocked for two NFL MVPs, Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk. He protected Warner’s blind side during the “Greatest Show on Turf” days and opened holes for Faulk on the field. Pace was an integral member of the Rams’ offense, which produced three straight seasons of scoring more than 500 points and ranking as the NFL’s highest rated offense from 1999-2001. The Rams finished in the top 10 for total offense seven times and finished in the top five in passing for eight consecutive seasons.
In 1999, with Pace as left tackle, the Rams racked up a league-high 6,412 yards of offense, finishing with a 13-3 record and an NFC Western division title. They advanced through the playoffs before capturing a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV – making this the franchise’s first NFL title since 1951.
In 2000, Pace continued to protect QB Kurt Warner and open holes for Hall of Fame runner Marshall Faulk, who was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and set a league-record with 26 touchdowns. The Rams became the first team to gain more than 7,000 yards of offense.
The next season, Pace and the Rams finished 14-2 and returned to the Super Bowl but suffered a disappointing loss over the New England Patriots.
Pace dominated during his seasons in the NFL finishing his 13-year prolific career with the Chicago Bears. This seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection played in 169 career games and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s. This year, he’s joined by seven other Hall of Famers: Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Tony Dungy, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Ken Stable and Dick Stanfel.
See Orlando Pace Be Enshrined into the
Pro Football Hall of Fame
With an Official HOF Experiences ticket package, you can be there to see Orlando Pace put on his Gold Jacket, unveil his bust and be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend is action-packed and some of the most fun you will ever have. Enjoy the Concert for Legends featuring Tim McGraw, join Hall of Famers at the Enshrinement Ceremony and witness the Colts and Packers go head-to-head at the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to celebrate Orlando Pace and the Class of 2016!