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Warfield honored in Warren, Ohio
Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, was honored Tuesday as a Hometown Hall of Famer™ by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. The special plaque ceremony at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio, took place in front of an audience that included more than 1,600 students, family and friends and local community members who were all eager to welcome home the Ohio native.
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Warfield was greeted by an energetic crowd as he entered the packed gymnasium through a tunnel formed by the school’s football team while the band and dance teams performed. Danny Smith, Warfield’s longtime friend and the event’s plaque presenter, took the stage and spoke about growing up with Warfield. He emphasized how he was not only an athlete, but a student first.
“It is called student-athlete,” said Smith. “A student first and athlete second, Paul epitomized all the things young people aspire to be.”
After the plaque unveiling and a standing ovation from the crowd, Warfield took to the podium to deliver an important message about perseverance to the students in attendance.
“You have to believe there’s a purpose and things will happen for you,” said Warfield.
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Paul Warfield Hometown Hall of Famer™ road sign will be on display in Warren.
“This plaque commemorates not only Paul Warfield, but this community and how they have helped him on the road to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.
Other special guests in attendance included Ohio Representative Tom Letson and local Allstate agent Jason Durica.
“I am privileged to help honor the legacy of a professional football legend like Paul Warfield,” said Durica. “What a better way to show our pride for where Allstaters and our customers live and work than to have a program like this that brings Warfield and his family to where it all began here in Warren.”
Representative Tom Letson closed the ceremony by making an official proclamation honoring Warfield as a Hometown Hall of Famer™ on behalf of the Ohio House of Representatives.
A first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 1964, Warfield quickly became known for his speed and leaping ability that often made it necessary for opposing teams to double cover him. As a rookie, he caught a career-high 52 passes. After playing six seasons with the Browns, Warfield went to the Miami Dolphins in a blockbuster trade in 1970. After five seasons in Miami, he returned to finish out his career in Cleveland. Warfield ended his 13-season NFL career with 427 receptions for 8,565 yards and 85 touchdowns. His 20.1 yards-per-catch mark ranks among the best in the history of the game. Warfield was a six-time All-NFL choice and was a member of three NFL championship teams, one with Cleveland and two times with the Dolphins.
Warfield was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
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