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Lee Roy Selmon


Lee Roy Selmon

Retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers defender Lee Roy Selmon is honored before play against the Buffalo Bills September 18, 2005 in Tampa.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
An Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner while at the University of Oklahoma, defensive end Lee Roy Selmon was the first player drafted in Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise history, and went on to be the first player elected to the team's Ring of Honor. He was also the top overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, and was a key member of a defense that helped drag the newly-founded Buccaneers from NFL doormat to division champ in just a few short years.
Despite missing significant time his first year because of injury, Selmon earned team Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. From that point, he quickly developed into one of the best and most feared pass rushers in the league, and in 1979, helped Tampa Bay make it all the way to the NFC championship game. For his efforts that season, he was a unanimous selection for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
Selmon was born Oct. 20, 1954 to Jessie and Lucious Selmon Sr.. He, along with his eight brothers and sisters, was raised on a farm in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Lee Roy, along with two other siblings -- older brothers Lucious Jr. and Dewey -- was recruited by the Oklahoma Sooners and the trio went on to form one of the greatest defensive lines in school history.

Playing along side his brothers, Selmon's Sooners went 10-0-1 in 1973. Lee Roy then helped lead Oklahoma to consecutive national championships in 1974 and '75.

Selmon put together a fantastic NFL career by any measure, but it might have been even more prolific had he not suffered a back injury which forced him to miss the entire 1985 season. Having recorded 100 tackles and eight sacks in 1984, it's likely he had a few solid years left in him had he stayed healthy. But the injury brought an end to his career after nine seasons in the league. However, during that time, he did record 78½ sacks and was named to six consecutive Pro Bowls.
After his playing days, Selmon was instrumental in the creation of a football program at South Florida, where he became the associate athletic director starting in 1993. In May of 2001 he took over as the school's athletic director and served in that capacity until February 2004 when he was forced to step down because of health concerns.

On September 4, 2011, Selmon died at the age of 56 from complications of a stroke he had suffered just days before.

Born: Lee Roy Selmon - October 20, 1954 - Eufaula, Oklahoma
Died: September 4, 2011
Drafted: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Lee Roy Selmon with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft.

Years Played: 1976-1984
Position Played: Defensive End
Uniform Number: 63
Nickname: The Gentle Giant
Played For: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Alma Mater: University of Oklahoma
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: 1995
Other Members Inducted in 1995: Jim Finks, Henry Jordan, Steve Largent, Kellen Winslow

Best Known For...
Besides being an outstanding defensive end, Selmon is best known for being the first draft pick in Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise history, and being named the first member of the team's Ring of Honor.

NFL Career Statistics
• 78-1/2 Sacks
• 380 Quarterback Pressures
• 28-1/2 Forced Fumbles
• 10 Fumble Recoveries

NFL Highlights
• Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1995)
• Selected for the Pro Bowl 6 Times (1979-84)
• Selected First-Team All-Pro 3 Times (1979-80, 1982)
• NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1979)
• Named Co-Pro Bowl MVP (1982)

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