Michael Strahan deserves to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there is no question about that. The all-time single season sack leader (22.5) is one of the 15 modern-era candidates for Canton it was announced today.
Strahan, a four-time first-team All-Pro, is the New York Giants all-time leader in games played (216) and in sacks (141.5), not an easy feat when you play for the same team that Lawrence Taylor, arguably the greatest defensive player of all-time, played for.
Strahan’s path to football is not your typical story but it is one that surely garners attention. He played one year of organized high school football in the United States after playing some football in Germany where his father was stationed with the army. His one year of high school football was enough to draw the interest of Texas Southern University where he was given a scholarship. Strahan made the coaching staff out to look like a bunch of Nostradamus’.
While at Texas Southern he was names as a first-team All-American by The Poor Man’s Guide to the NFL Draft and the Associated Press. His 41.5 career sack at Texas Southern is a school record.
The Giants selected Strahan with their first pick in the 1993 NFL Draft which was their second-round pick and 40th pick overall. Their first pick, you might remember, was used on Dave Brown, the quarterback from Duke University in the 1992 Supplemental NFL Draft so to have a player like Strahan available in the second round is a coup.
Strahan retired as a champion after the Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that the Giants finally saw Strahan contribute at a high-caliber level. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl after recording 14 sacks in 1997 and followed that up with a 15 sack campaign in 1998. He helped turn a struggling Giants team around toward the latter part of the 1990s and helped them to the Super Bowl in 2000.
Strahan might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of great defensive players who played for the Giants but that is what happens when you follow in Lawrence Taylor’s footsteps. Regardless, Strahan deserves to be elected to the Hall of Fame and I believe he will be, a well-deserved ending to a great career.