Although a three-time All-Southwestern Conference star at Jackson State, Lem Barney was a comparative unknown when he joined the NFL as the 2nd round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1967.
It took only a few games for Barney to become widely respected as one of the premier comerbacks in pro football. He led the NFL with 10 picks his rookie year.
Barney also won acclaim as a kick return specialist. Particularly early in his career, he saw duty on both the punt and kickoff return units.
A big play performer, Barney had a 98-yard kickoff return, a 94-yard field goal return, a 74-yard punt return and a 71-yard interception runback during his career.
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.
In 1992, Barney was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.