Every tackle, forced fumble, sack and interception Ray Lewis made for the Baltimore Ravens over 17 seasons has paid off.
The former linebacker, and first-year ballot nominee, will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Hall of Fame, Class of 2018: Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Terrell Owens, Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 3, 2018
Lewis is just the second Raven in franchise history to be inducted. Jonathan Ogden, the first player drafted by the franchise in 1996, was enshrined back in 2013.
Drafted by the Ravens at No. 26 in the 1996 draft, Lewis won two Super Bowls, named Super Bowl XXXV MVP, named to 13 Pro Bowls, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Defensive Player of the year winner, won eight Defensive Player of the Week awards, played in 228 career games, had 1,558 total tackles, 492 assist, 41.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles and 31 interceptions. He was also the heart and soul of the Ravens defense, who reigned supreme for the majority of his tenure.
The Ravens made his legacy official by erecting a statue of Lewis outside of M&T Bank Stadium in 2014, right next to Baltimore Colts' legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas.
The news of his induction into the 2018 class could not have come at a more appropriate time. No. 52 learned the news less than 24 hours before Super Bowl 52. Today is also the five-year anniversary of Super Bowl XLVII, his final game.
"You cannot draw this stuff up," Lewis told the B-More Opinionated podcast. "My entire career I wore No. 52. I'm walking into Super Bowl 52. It's like this surreal moment."
Lewis's impact on the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization can't be measured. General Manager Ozzie Newsome had this to say when Lewis announced his retirement in 2012.
Ray Lewis will not only be remembered as one of the greatest to play his position, he will also be thought of as one of the greatest players in NFL history.
When asked at his annual "State of the Ravens" press conference Friday how he felt about Lewis making the Hall of Fame, owner Steve Bisciotti spoke about the impact Lewis had on his fellow teammates.
It is awesome. Obviously, there is nobody more deserving. He made people around him better, which is the greatest compliment that you can give anybody in football, and he clearly was that guy.
Lewis was selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-person Selection Committee, which consists of one media representative from each pro football city, two from New York. To round out the 48 person committee, there are 16-at-large selectors who are active members of the media including one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America and two Hall of Fame members.
"Selection Saturday" takes place the day before the Super Bowl, where the remaining 15 finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote by committee members to be selected. There is no set number of potential enshrinees, but the current committee tries to keep the class between four and eight new members.
He is considered to be one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL.
The official induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio will take place on August 4th.