Date of Birth
Morgan State University (1963-1966)
Arguably the best player to wear a Morgan State uniform, Willie Lanier earned first -team All-America honors his junior year while playing for one of the game's best, Hall of Fame coach Earl Banks. He was on successful teams that, under his leadership, went to bowl games in 1965 and 1966, winning both and holding opponents to zero total yards offense in the 1965 game. As a junior, Lanier was one of three captains and as a senior he was the team captain. His teams won three conference championships and at one point had a 32-game winning streak. In 1965, he led a stubborn defense that held opponents to 129 yards rushing all season and 732 yards in total offense. In 1966, as an offensive guard, he used his strength to open holes for the offense, which rushed for 2,220 yards in eight games. Lanier still holds the school record for tackles in a game with 26. After his collegiate career, he played professionally for the Kansas City Chiefs where he was a five-time all-pro middle linebacker. He was elected into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
- 1966 First Team All-America (HBCU)
- 1965 First Team All-America (College Div.)
Class of 2000
Billy Ray Smith