CHICAGO (CBS) — Getting into Canton proved to be more elusive for Richard Dent than the quarterbacks he brought down 137 times during his career.
Dent has finally bagged a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will join fellow Bears Walter Payton, Mike Singletary and Dan Hampton when he is formally enshrined in Canton in August. The former Bears defensive end is one of seven players to be inducted into this year’s class
As CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reports, the Bears’ all-time sack leader says his patience finally paid off. Dent was passed over seven previous times in eight years for enshrinement, so when his daughters called him with the news that he’s a Hall of Famer, he broke down.
“For your kids to tell you, that was amazing. Everything just went emotional. I was crying, they were crying, it was a great feeling. This is a great moment for me and huge for my family,” Dent said.
Dent says it’s his first career award that he has ever received. He also added that it hasn’t totally set in that he has reached the pinnacle of his profession.
“It has been some time, but I always felt that you can’t pluck a star from the sky. It can be cloudy, but sooner or later you have to shine. This is my shining time,” said Dent.
Dent also said he is very proud to be the first hall of famer from Tennessee State University. His former college coach, Joe Gilliam Sr., will most likely be his Hall of Fame presenter, but his daughter Mary wants to do it too.
Dent has more than five months to decide, but right now he is just happy and relieved.