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.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers on Madden 25
- Steelers vs. Panthers: Last-ditch effort for several Steelers first-year players
- Steelers Film Room: The boom or bust running back
- Matt Spaeth looks to go IR-Designation after making roster
- Steelers vs. Panthers: A tradition like no other
- Ryan Clark sounds off on low hits
- Coach Tomlin says Landry Jones will play majority of Steelers preseason finale vs Panthers
- Guard Ramon Foster has earned Steelers respect
- Steelers discussed making Heath Miller available for preseason game vs Panthers
- Isaac Redman will miss third straight preseason game for Steelers
- Steelers 53-man roster projection: Derek Moye over Justin Brown in most recent prediction
- Isaac Redman admits he cannot lay a claim to the Steelers starting position right now
- Baron Batch's release just another reminder of how quickly injuries can derail a career