WVU legend Chuck Howley elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame; Geno Smith earns NFL honor

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Wheeling native and WVU legend Chuck Howley has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The announcement was made at the NFL Honors ceremony Thursday evening in Phoenix, Arizona. Enshrinement ceremonies will be held August 3-6 in Canton, Ohio.

Howley is joined in the nine-man induction class by Ronde Barber, Don Coryell, Joe Klecko, Darrelle Revis, Ken Riley, Joe Thomas, Zach Thomas and DeMarcus Ware.

Howley was born in Wheeling in 1936 and competed in multiple sports at Warwood High School. He went on to become a letterwinner in five sports at West Virginia University. In addition to his football prowess, Howley also competed in track, swimming, gymnastics and wrestling. After playing guard and center in his three varsity seasons at WVU [1955-1957], Howley was selected as the seventh pick in the 1958 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.

After sustaining a serious injury in training camp for the 1959 season, Howley did not return to the field until 1961. He played 13 seasons at linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. Howley was selected to six Pro Bowls and earned First Team All-Pro honors five times. He is a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. Howley earned Super Bowl V MVP honors and became a Super Bowl champion a year later.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) makes a throw in the second quarter of a wild card game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports(

Former WVU signal caller Geno Smith earned one of the NFL’s top honors Thursday evening. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Smith received 28 of the 50 first-place votes in the balloting.

In his first starting opportunity since the 2014 season with the New York Jets, Smith led the Seahawks to the playoffs with a Pro Bowl season. Smith passed for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns. He led the NFL in completing percentage [69.8].

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