Ahead of the NFL Hall of Fame Game, let’s look at Auburn’s Hall of Famers

Kevin Greene is the second Auburn football player to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Kevin Greene is the second Auburn football player to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

After six months of an excruciating offseason, football finally has returned with the NFL Hall of Fame Game.

The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens play Thursday night at 8 (NBC) in Canton, Ohio.

Yes, I’m well aware that the NFL preseason is chock full of the worst football games you’ll see all season long. At least the Pro Bowl is filled by players that we know and care about watching. But it’s a kickoff of sorts for America’s new favorite pastime and that alone is worth celebrating.

Would you rather watch a few of these games or go back and play Madden or NCAA Football for the 10 millionth time this offseason to feed your football fix and wait even longer for live football? I’ll take the former here. So in honor of the NFL Hall of Fame Game while we wait for real football (college football), let’s take a look at the two former Auburn football players who earned their way into Canton.

hall of fame-auburn football-kevin greene
Kevin Greene put in a lot of work to make his way from Auburn to Canton. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Kevin Greene

Let’s kick this off with the most recent Auburn player to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Kevin Greene is a player who somehow does not get enough publicity as not enough fans know his story. A former walk-on at the outside linebacker position, Greene exploded his senior season at Auburn as he led the SEC with 11 sacks in 1984.

After he left the program, he took his talents to the NFL where he wreaked havoc on opposing offensive linemen for 15 years as he played for the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers. He led the league in sacks twice. When it was all said and done, he left the field with 160 career sacks,, which is third-most in league history. Not bad for a guy who arrived at Auburn without a scholarship.

Frank Gatski

We’ve got to go back quite a few years for this one. Nicknamed “The Gunner,” Gatski was an original member of the Cleveland Browns back in the 40s and 50s for 11 seasons. He finished his career with one season in Detroit. His teams would compete in championship games 11 out of his 12 total seasons, winning eight. As was common for that era, he played both sides of the line of scrimmage as a linebacker and center during his early years until he became primarily a center and dominated the league.

Incredibly, he never missed a single game during his career in high school, college or the NFL. That kind of toughness is rare to see even with today’s players.

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