GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two-time consensus All-American and 1983 National Defensive Player of the Year Wilber Marshall will be inducted into the University of Florida Football’s Ring of Honor, the school announced Wednesday.
Marshall, who played linebacker for the Gators from 1980-83, will be honored prior to the Florida-Auburn game on Sept. 29. His name will be unveiled and displayed in the North Endzone of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The display, which will be approximately 18-feet wide and five feet high, will now feature Marshall, along with Emmitt Smith, Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Jack Youngblood. The previous members of the Ring of Honor were unveiled prior to the Alabama game last year as part of Florida’s 100-year Celebration of Gator Football.
Marshall, originally from Titusville, Fla., was a consensus first-team All-American in 1982 and 1983 and also earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in 1981. ABC Television selected him as the National Defensive Player of the Year in 1983 and he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award in both his junior and senior seasons.
One of his most memorable games as a Gator occurred in a 17-9 upset win over Southern Cal on Sept. 11, 1982, when he made 14 tackles and collected four sacks on his way to Sports Illustrated and Associated Press Defensive Player of the Week recognition. Marshall finished his career with 343 tackles (210 solo), including a school-record 23 quarterback sacks. He was selected in 1999 as The Gainesville Sun’s Defensive Player of the Century.
“We are proud to honor Wilber as one of the elite football players in the proud history of University of Florida football,” said Jeremy Foley, Director of Athletics. “He is incredibly deserving of this honor, and we look forward to celebrating his induction this fall.”
Marshall was a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 1984 and enjoyed a 12-year career in the NFL. He was a three-time All-Pro selection (1986, ‘87 and ‘92) and also earned a pair of Super Bowl rings with Chicago and Washington.
In the 1985 season, Marshall was part of a Bears’ defensive unit which allowed the fewest yards, rushing yards and points per game in the NFL. Chicago notched two playoff shutouts and allowed only 10 points in three postseason games as they knocked off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
Marshall won another championship ring with the Redskins in the 1991 season, when they handled the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI. In the NFC Championship Game that season, he sacked Detroit Lions’ quarterback Erik Kramer three times in the Redskins’ 41-10 victory.
During his dozen NFL seasons, Marshall recorded 45 sacks and intercepted 23 passes, which he returned for 304 yards and three touchdowns. He also recovered 16 fumbles, returning them for 70 yards and one touchdown. Marshall is among the few players who have recorded
20 sacks and 20 interceptions in their career. He has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.