Willie Pless To Be Added To Football Ring Of Honor This Fall
July 27, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Willie Pless, one of the best defensive players, not only in school history, but Big Eight Conference and Canadian Football League history, will have his name added to the University of Kansas Football Ring of Honor this fall.
Pless, a standout linebacker for the Jayhawks from 1982-85, will become the 14th player to have his name displayed at the top of the north bowl of Memorial Stadium. A recognition ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Jayhawks' season opener against
Pless has already been inducted in the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2005.
He still owns the top three season tackle totals in
After earning all-state honors at
That year he averaged 17 tackles per game and recorded at least 20 stops four times. Against
In 1984 Pless earned second-team Associated Press All-America honors after recording 206 tackles. In that season he registered a school-record 25-tackle game against
As a senior in 1985, Pless was recognized as a preseason Playboy All-American. For the third straight year he was tabbed first-team all-Big Eight while registering 191 tackles. After the year he played in three all-star games - the Blue-Gray Game, Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. He was named the Defensive MVP of the Blue-Gray Game.
Pless also succeeded in the classroom and was a GTE Region VII Academic All-America in 1985.
After his college days at Kansas, Pless went on to great success in the Canadian Football League where he made 11 CFL all-star teams and was named the league's outstanding defensive player five times before retiring in 1999 as the league's all-time leading tackler. He played four seasons with
Pless is the first player to be added since Nolan Cromwell was honored in 2005.
Pless' Career Statistics at
Year Tackles TFL FR Int.
1982 48 4-13 3 0
1983 188 6-16 2 1
1984 206 16-50 0 1
1985 191 11-49 3 1
Totals 633 37-128 8 3