When the Colts selected running back Edgerrin James with the fourth overall draft pick in 1999, many observers shook their heads that Indianapolis passed on Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams.
The head shaking soon stopped as James established himself as one of the NFL’s best rushers, and they surely have ceased now that James has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Called “the best teammate I ever played with” by Peyton Manning, James led the league in rushing his first two seasons. He then overcame a severe knee injury to remain a major force in Indy before finishing his career with three seasons in Arizona and one in Seattle.
James immediately paid tribute to his mother during his speech.
“To my mama, we’re here,” he said with a chuckle. “No blueprint, no manual, and most importantly no man. I’m your man.”
He also delivered a message to society: “Just do your job. If everyone would do their job, the whole world would be a better place.”