New Mexico may soon have an alumni member in the College Football Hall of Fame as former Lobo great Brian Urlacher has been placed on this year’s ballot. He was the Mountain West Conference player of the year in 1999, and is one of the most successful players in Lobo history. He was a the ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft and went on to have a career in the pros with the Chicago Bears that may send Urlacher into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Urlacher who was born in Lovington, New Mexico, where he led his high school team to a state championship, and then he chose the University of New Mexico after not being offer a scholarship by his school of choice: Texas Tech. In his first two years with the Lobos he had little impact seeing little playing time under head coach Dennis Franchione.
Franchione left after Urlacher’s sophomore season which was a benefit to him because he flourished in Rocky Long’s 3-3-5 defense as the Lobo-Back. He led the nation in tackles his junior year with 187 and finished his career with 442. He also had three interceptions, 11 sacks and 11 forced fumbles. During his tenure with the Lobos he also played offense where he caught six touchdown passes and he also returned five kicks for touchdowns.
Urlacher was one of the most decorated players in Lobo history and has been honored by the University many times even having his number retired and being inducted to the Lobo Football Wall of Fame. Among Nation honors he was a consensus first team All- American, he was also a Jim Thorpe Award Finalist and finished 12th in the Heisman trophy voting. Urlacher will find out on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 if he will be inducted into the HOF.