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Stanford to retire John Elway's number 7 jersey

30 years after he was the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft, Elway's number will be retired forever

Malcolm Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.

Or, in John Elway's case, they get their number retired.

At the halftime of the Cardinal's November 7th home game against Oregon, the great Elway will have his famous #7 retired forever, joining Ernie Nevers' #1 and Jim Plunkett's #16 as the only Cardinal players to have their numbers retired. It's obviously a well-deserved honor for Elway, and one that may even be a bit overdue - but it's good to see Stanford honoring its great players like this.

Who are other Stanford football players whose numbers you'd like to see retired? I think it's obvious that Luck's #12 will be retired someday, but I would like to see Toby Gerhart at least get mentioned for wearing number 7 as well.

Here's the full release from Stanford athletics:

STANFORD, Calif. - John Elway will have his famed No. 7 uniform jersey retired by Stanford during halftime of the Nov. 7 home football game against Oregon.

"Today is an exciting day for Stanford football, and you can't talk about Stanford football without talking about John Elway," said David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. "Like Frankie Albert and Jim Plunkett before him, John's Elway's greatness set the standard for quarterback play for a generation."

Elway, now executive vice president of the Denver Broncos, will become the third Stanford player to have his jersey retired, joining No.1 Ernie Nevers and No. 16 Jim Plunkett.

"Through the years the No. 7 has meant so much to the Stanford community, most recently with the record-breaking career of Toby Gerhart," Shaw said. "Current student-athletes Ty Montgomery and Aziz Shittu both will wear the No. 7 jersey and be the last two to put it on for Stanford University."

One of the greatest collegiate and professional quarterbacks ever to play, Elway rewrote the Stanford and Pac-10 career record books, completing over 62 percent of his passes (774-of-1,246) and throwing 77 touchdowns over his four-year career (1979-82). He still owns Stanford's single game-record with six touchdown passes in a game (Oregon State, 1980).

"I am extremely humbled that Stanford has chosen to recognize me in this very special way," Elway said. "It's a tremendous honor to join Cardinal legends Ernie Nevers and Jim Plunkett with this distinction."

"Being a student-athlete at Stanford and earning my degree from the school are two things I take the utmost pride in accomplishing. Without question, my four years at Stanford played an integral role in who I am and any success I've had. In particular, my teammates and coaches deserve so much credit for making me better, both on and off the field."

"I will always cherish my time on campus as well as the friendships from Stanford that have lasted more than 30 years. I look forward to returning for this occasion and celebrating with the great Cardinal fans."

Elway was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, winning the honor in 1980 and 1982, while also earning consensus All-America honors as a senior.

After finishing second to Herschel Walker in the 1982 Heisman Trophy voting, Elway was the No. 1 pick of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He was traded to the Denver Broncos, playing his entire career there and leading the club to five Super Bowls and two championships.

In 2000, Elway was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame and he entered the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

"This is a terrific way to celebrate the legacy of one of the all-time Cardinal greats," said Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics. "Our entire community looks forward to honoring John for his great achievements while wearing the Stanford uniform. Nov. 7 will be a special evening as we honor our No. 7."