Stanford Football announced on Tuesday that it will retire the No. 7 jersey in honor of former Cardinal quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway ’83 during halftime of the Nov. 7 matchup against Oregon at Stanford Stadium.
Elway will become just the third player in Cardinal football history to have his number retired, following 1925 Rose Bowl MVP Ernie Nevers (No. 1) and the 1970 Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett (No. 16).
“I am extremely humbled that Stanford has chosen to recognize me in this very special way,” Elway remarked. “It’s a tremendous honor to join Cardinal legends Ernie Nevers and and Jim Plunkett with this distinction.”
A two-sport athlete in both football and baseball on The Farm, Elway—a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year—finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy and was named a consensus All-American in 1982 after his senior season as a member of the football team. During his four years under center for the Cardinal, Elway completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 9,349 yards and threw for 77 touchdowns.
After his senior season, Elway was selected first overall in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Denver Broncos, where he enjoyed one of the most celebrated careers in NFL history. By the time he retired in 1998, he was a 9-time Pro Bowler and had led the Broncos to two Super Bowl victories. He was later elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, in his first year of eligibility.
With its retirement, the No. 7 jersey for the Cardinal will conclude an illustrious career, having been worn by both Elway and Toby Gerhart ’10, one of the most decorated running backs in Stanford history. No. 7 will be worn for the final time in 2013 by junior wide receiver Ty Montgomery and sophomore defensive end Aziz Shittu.