Isaac Bruce becomes the first Tiger player selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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CANTON, Ohio – Former University of Memphis wide receiver Isaac Bruce, a 1,000-yard receiver for the Tigers during the 1993 season, was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. He is the first player in the program’s history to be selected to the Hall of Fame.

Bruce came to then-Memphis State in 1992 after two seasons of junior college. He made an immediate impact on the Tiger football squad, earning a starting position in the 1992 opener and never looking back. Teaming with quarterback Steve Matthews, Bruce gave Memphis one of the nation’s top passing attacks, finishing with 39 receptions for 532 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.

His senior campaign set the stage for his professional career, as he became the first wide receiver in program history to post a 1,000-yard receiving season. He finished 1993 with a school-record 74 catches for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns and was the only wide receiver in Tiger history to post 1,000 yards in a season until Anthony Miller in 2016.

Bruce was drafted by the Rams in the second round of the 1994 draft and spent 16 seasons in the league, helping the Rams develop into the ‘Greatest Show on Turf.’ The Rams were the first NFL offense to score 500 or more points in three consecutive seasons (1999-2001) and appeared in two Super Bowls, claiming a win in Super Bowl XXXIV.
“Congratulations to Isaac on this well-deserved accomplishment,” said head coach Ryan Silverfield. “All of Memphis is so proud of him and this wonderful honor. Isaac is a man with amazing class, character, and values. He has represented himself on and off the field to elite standards. It’s wonderful that a member of our Tiger family is being bestowed the highest achievement award, in all of sports, by being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame!”

On his retirement, Bruce ranked as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver with 1,024 receptions for 15,209 yards and 91 touchdowns. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and had his number 80 jersey retired by the Rams. He currently ranks 13th all-time in receptions (1,024), fifth in receiving yards (15,208) and 12th in receiving touchdowns (91).

“It was just over a month ago when Isaac was addressing our football team at the Cotton Bowl,” said Athletics Director Laird Veatch. “He has been a long-standing supporter of this program, and while we are proud to have the support of such an esteemed Tiger, we are proud now to support him on a well-deserved vote into the Hall of Fame. His excellence in the game and his continued service in the community are role models for all of our student-athletes.”

A honoree of the Memphis M Club Hall of Fame (Class of 2011), Bruce is one of six former football players to have his jersey retired. His jersey was retired on October 4, 2003.

To earn a spot at Canton, players have to receive 80 percent of votes from the Hall of Fame selection committee. Bruce and the rest of the class announced Saturday will officially enter the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 8.

 

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