Former New Mexico standout reaches Hall of Fame status

Even though Brian Urlacher’s football career is a distant memory now, he still continues to reap the rewards of a job well done.

The accolades continue to come as he settles into life after football. In 2013, Urlacher’s No. 44 Lobo jersey was retired. There are only four Lobo football legends whose numbers have been retired: Mike Williams (40), Bobby Santiago (42), Don Perkins (43) and Urlacher (44).

A few years later, more honors would follow Urlacher when he found out that he was up for the College Football Hall of Fame. 

“… It was very unexpected for me… I just feel like I’ve been overlooked my whole college career, my whole high school career.”

In 2017, he was inducted into the College Hall of Fame and by February of 2018, he was facing the possibility of the being immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

The preparation to get into the hall started just as soon as Urlacher found out that he was being inducted. 

“It’s hard because I tried to think of people who affected my professional career, not so much my high school or my college career,” Urlacher said.

He chose former Bears Linebacker Coach and Defensive Coordinator Bob Babich.

“I could go to him with anything. It didn’t matter. We didn’t always talk about football. We talked about family,” Urlacher said. “His door was open to me all the time no matter what the situation.”

Once Urlacher is inducted, he will return to his life after football.

“It’s great right now. I’m so glad I retired when I did. My body still feels good for the most part and I’m hanging out with my kids most of the time,” Urlacher said. 

If he’s not with his kids, traveling or at home, you can find him walking around in public. Urlacher says a lot of people don’t recognize him because of his facial hair, the hair on his head and the weight he’s lost. 

He also says now if he see’s someone sporting his No. 54 Bears jersey he no longer tries to hide. 

“I was like dude. I appreciate you wearing my jersey. I gave him a high five. It’s just cool now, five years removed from the game, they are still wearing my jersey, still repping the 54.” 

No. 54 will have its place cemented in football history when Urlacher is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame August 4. 

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