Kent State University to retire James Harrison's number Thursday

Karl Walter

James Harrison, the Steelers' second all-time leader in career sacks, will have his No. 16 jersey retired by Kent State University Thursday.

Two completely different players share two unique and prestigious honors.

Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Steelers Hall of Fame LB Jack Lambert were both named Defensive Player of the Year once in their careers, and as of Thursday, both will have their numbers retired by Kent State University.

Harrison wore No. 16 in college, and that number will be retired during KSU's game against Liberty. They have previously retired the jerseys of Jim Corrigall, Eric Wilkerson and Josh Cribbs.

Cribbs, a teammate of Harrison's for a brief period at KSU wore No. 9 there, and No. 16 for the Cleveland Browns.

Harrison has the franchise record for sacks in a single season with 16, which he got in 2008, the year he was named the league's top defensive player. He is second all-time in career sacks with 64. He had 15 sacks and 98 tackles in his senior year for the Golden Flashes.

He signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason after refusing a paycut to remain in Pittsburgh. Harrison is one of six Defensive Players of the Year from the Steelers' franchise - Lambert, Joe Greene (2), Rod Woodson and Troy Polamalu are the others.

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