LEM BARNEY

LEM BARNEY

Class of 1992
Cornerback >>> 6-0, 188
(Jackson State)
1967-1977 Detroit Lions

Lemuel Jackson Barney. . .Second-round draft pick, 1967. . . NFL interception co-leader, defensive Rookie of Year, 1967 . . .Fifth cornerback to enter Hall. . .Returned kicks, emergency punter. . . Career record: 1,077 yards on 56 interceptions, 1,312 yards on punt returns, 1,274 yards on kickoff returns. . .Scored 11 career touchdowns. . .In seven Pro Bowls, All-NFL/NFC four times. . .Born September 8, 1945, in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Although he was a three-time All-Southwestern Conference star who had intercepted 26 passes in three seasons at Jackson State, Lem Barney was a comparative unknown when he joined the National Football League as a second-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 1967.

It took only a few games, however, for the 6-0, 188-pound speedster to become widely respected as one of the premier comerbacks in pro football. Barney originally was tested as a wide receiver but his exceptional skills as a defender could not be ignored. After a sensational rookie season, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and selected to play in the Pro Bowl, something he would do six more times during his stellar career. Barney also tied for the NFL interception lead with 10. Three of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns, just one short of the then-all-time single-season record.

Barney, a native of Gulfport, Mississippi, also won acclaim as a kick return specialist. Particularly early in his career, he saw duty on both the punt and kickoff return units, as well as playing full-time at comerback. He was highly feared as a big-play threat for good reason. In his 11-year tenure that ended after the 1977 campaign, Barney had a 98-yard kickoff return, a 94-yard field goal return, a 74-yard punt return and a 71-yard interception runback.

His career record includes 56 interceptions for 1,077 yards, 143 punt returns for 1,312 yards and 50 kickoff returns for 1,274 yards. He scored 11 touchdowns on seven interceptions, two punt returns, one kickoff return and one field goal return. He also recovered 11 opponents' fumbles and doubled as the Lions punter in both 1967 and 1969. Barney was named All-NFL in 1968 and 1969 and All-NFC in 1972 and 1975.

 
Year

Team

G
Int
Yds.
Avg.
TD
No.
Yds.
1967 Detroit
14
10
232
23.2
3
0
0
1968 Detroit
14
7
82
11.7
0
5
0
1969 Detroit
13
8
126
15.8
0
2
25
1970 Detroit
13
7
168
24.0
2
0
0
1971 Detroit
9
3
78
26.0
1
2
0
1972 Detroit
14
3
88
29.3
0
1
20
1973 Detroit
14
4
130
32.5
0
3
0
1974 Detroit
13
4
61
15.3
0
0
0
1975 Detroit
10
5
23
4.6
0
1
74
1976 Detroit
14
2
62
31.0
1
1
0
1977 Detroit
12
3
27
9.0
0
2
49
Career Total
140
56
1,077
19.2
7
17
168
 
Year Team
G
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1967 Detroit
14
4
14
3.5
0
5
87
17.4
0
1968 Detroit
14
13
79
6.1
0
25
670
26.8
1
1969 Detroit
13
9
191
21.2
1
7
154
22
0
1970 Detroit
13
25
259
10.4
1
2
96
48
0
1971 Detroit
9
14
122
8.7
0
9
222
24.7
0
1972 Detroit
14
15
108
7.2
0
1
17
17
0
1973 Detroit
14
27
231
8.6
0
1
28
28
0
1974 Detroit
13
5
37
7.4
0
0
0
0.0
0
1975 Detroit
10
8
80
10.0
0
0
0
0.0
0
1976 Detroit
14
23
191
8.3
0
0
0
0.0
0
1977 Detroit
12
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0.0
0
Career Total
140
143
1,312
9.2
2
50
1,274
25.5
1
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 5-45; Punting: 113-4006; Scoring: 11 TDs
Full Name: Lemuel Jackson Barney

Birthdate: September 8, 1945

Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi

High School: 33rd Avenue (Gulfport, MS)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 1992

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 1, 1992

Presenter: Jim David, Former Def. Coach, Lions

Other Members of Class of 1992: Al Davis, John Mackey, John Riggins

Pro Career: 11 seasons, 140 games

Drafted: 2nd round (34th overall) by Detroit Lions

Uniform Number: 20

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