Steelers quarterback and Miami University alumnus Ben Roethlisberger was inducted into the RedHawks Hall of Fame Saturday, an honor he was happy to receive.
He was happier, though, to be inducted with his former coach, Terry Hoeppner, who died of brain cancer in 2007.
"I know he is here in spirit with us," Roethlisberger told the Middletown Journal. "Going in with Coach Hep, it couldn't get any better."
In three years at Miami, Roethlisberger threw for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns, leading the RedHawks to the MAC championship his junior year of 2003.
He went on to be the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Steelers, the first quarterback they selected in the first round in 24 years (Mark Malone, 1980).
The Steelers won two Super Bowls with Roethlisberger as a starter, defeating Seattle after the 2005 season and Arizona after the 2008 season. The Steelers lost a third Super Bowl appearance with Roethlisberger starting at quarterback after the 2010 season.
Roethlisberger only played one year at quarterback in high school, but his size and athleticism made an impression on Hoeppner. Roethlisberger said Miami was one of, if not the, first schools to recruit him.
RedHawks QB Zac Dysert, a 2013 Draft prospect, broke Roethlisberger's passing yards record this season, racking up 12,013 with one more full season and 368 more attempts than Roethlisberger had. Dysert's production and athleticism may find him a spot in this year's draft. And he doesn't mind being compared to the Steelers quarterback.