For 10 seasons, Jeff Herrod represented exactly what the City of Indianapolis would want out of a Colts football player.
A ninth-round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi in 1988, Herrod took a blue-collar approach onto the field, and never forgot where he came from. Despite being a bit undersized for an NFL inside linebacker — at 6-foot, 250 pounds — Herrod was able to lead the Colts in tackles seven times, collecting about 1,300 total stops throughout his career in Indy.
And now, Herrod can boast that he is a Hall of Famer.
Herrod on Saturday night was one of eight former standout athletes and/or coaches inducted into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored in a ceremony in his hometown of Birmingham.
Herrod became nationally known for his ability to make plays at Ole Miss, where he finished with 528 career tackles, ranking first in school annals and second in SEC history.
He was selected by the Colts in 1988, and after playing in all 16 games without a start his rookie season, he really took off his second year in 1989, collecting 154 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
He became the Colts' primary source of consistency on the defensive side of the ball heading into the early- to mid-1990s. From 1990 to 1994, Herrod averaged almost 140 tackles and three sacks per season; astonishingly, he was never selected to play in the Pro Bowl.
Herrod would play in Indy until 1997, when he signed to play for one year with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in 10 games, before returning to the Colts the following season — his last in the NFL. He finished with about 1,300 total tackles, 14.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.
It's the type of career that perhaps could land him in the Colts' Ring of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium someday.
"I'm very proud of my career," Herrod told Colts.com in 2012. "For all the nicks, aches and pains I experienced physically, I always look on the bright side for the sport that I got to play. When people think of me, I want them to think I was a warrior who always fought. I value my relationship with the Colts.
"It was an honor most of all to be drafted by the Colts," he continued. "To this day, I remember that feeling. It was the start of a career that I still look back on with fondness, to be in a new city with great fans. I was able to play with pros like Eric Dickerson, Jim Harbaugh, Marshall Faulk and Ray Buchanan in front of some very special fans."
Also inducted into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday were former NFL players Takeo Spikes, Kevin Turner and Carnell Williams.
Other former Colts inductees in the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame include center Forrest Blue Jr., assistant coach John Bridgers, linebacker Jackie Burkett, linebacker Barry Krauss, receiver Ray Perkins and linebacker Zeke Smith.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.