Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Gabe Rivera will be enshrined into the Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor on Sept. 13, when Texas Tech hosts Arkansas at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Rivera, a 2012 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft with the 21st overall selection. The Steelers bypassed University of Pittsburgh quarterback Dan Marino in the process.
Midway through his rookie season, Rivera suffered a crushed spinal column, broken ribs, punctured lung and bruised heart after being thrown through the back window of his sports car after it collided with another car on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The accident left Rivera permanently paralyzed from the mid-chest down and he has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
“I never saw myself as a legend,” said Rivera, who will become just the fourth member of the Texas Tech Ring of Honor. “This is an incredible honor for my family and we are all very excited and grateful to Texas Tech for this recognition.”
During his four seasons at Texas Tech, Rivera registered 321 career tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 11 pass deflections and six fumble recoveries.