Lemuel Joseph "Lem" Barney
(born September 8, 1945 in Gulfport, Mississippi
) is a former American Football cornerback
who played for the Detroit Lions
. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Barney attended Jackson State University
where he was a three-time All-Southwestern Conference
star with 26 career interceptions. Barney is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi
Barney was a second round draft choice in 1967. He was named 1967's defensive rookie of the year
, and went on to be selected to seven Pro Bowls
. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Detroit Lions history. During his time in the NFL (all of which were in Detroit), Barney had 56 career interceptions, and also gained over 1000 yards returning kickoffs and punts. In Barney's first pro start, he intercepted the first pass in his direction from Green Bay's Bart Starr and ran for a touchdown. Lem Barney and the rest of the Lions defense were coached by six-time Pro Bowl defensive back Jim David
. Lem credits Jim David as a mentor and teacher of the highest order. Jim David made the induction speech at the Pro Football Hall Of Fame induction ceremony for Lem. They remained great friends until David's death.
In 1999, he was ranked number 97 on The Sporting News'
list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
His number, 20, which was also worn by future Detroit star running backs Billy Sims
and Barry Sanders
, was retired by the... Read More