Harry Carson reached the pinnacle of football in 2006 when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Thursday, Wilson High School got a taste of Canton as Allstate and the Pro Football Hall of Fame came to Florence to give Wilson High School a permanent placque to honor the former New York Giants linebacker.
Carson spoke in front of family, friends and student at Wilson High School. Carson was introduced by his daughter, Aja Carson-Gurley, who said that while football fans always remember her father as #53 (the number he wore with the New York Giants), but she'll always remember him as #231, the number that he was enshrined as a member with the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Carson was grateful to the many people in Florence for playing a prominent role in his life and brought his nieces, nephews and grandchildren on stage.
Here's the press release about the event:
National Program Recognizes Pro Footballâ??s Greatest Players in their Hometown CommunitiesCanton, Ohio â?? March 29, 2012 â?? Pro football legend Harry Carson will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Florence, S.C., on Thursday, April 5, as part of â??Hometown Hall of Famersâ?¢,â?? a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sportâ??s greatest players with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company to Honor Harry Carson as â??Hometown Hall of Famerâ?¢â?? at Wilson High School in Florence, S.C.
â??â??Hometown Hall of Famersâ?¢â?? has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,â?? said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. â??We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate Harry Carson and Wilson High School on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to Florence.â??
A nine-time Pro Bowl selection as linebacker for the New York Giants and former high school standout at Wilson High School and McClenaghan High School in Florence, S.C., Carson will be presented with his â??Hometown Hall of Famerâ?¢â?? plaque during a special ceremony at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 5, at Wilson High School, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the entire community. The presentation will be made by Carsonâ??s daughter, Aja Carson-Gurley.
â??To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to cities like Florence is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,â?? said Lisa Cochrane, Allstateâ??s senior vice president of marketing.
The ceremony will be attended by Carsonâ??s family members and close friends, as well as Florence, S.C., community members. Rich Chrampanis, sports anchor for WPDE News Channel 15, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Harry Carson â??Hometown Hall of Famerâ?¢â?? road sign will be on display in Florence, S.C.
After excelling as a student-athlete in high school, Carson went on to play football at South Carolina State University where he never missed a single game during his four years as defensive end for the Bulldogs. Carson became the first player in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to be named defensive player of the year for two consecutive years. He also led his team to consecutive conference championships and was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Carson was selected in the fourth round by the New York Giants in the 1976 NFL Draft. His 13-year career as a dominant linebacker totaled 14 fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions. Carson led his team in tackles for five consecutive seasons, was team captain for ten seasons and helped lead the Giants to their first-ever Super Bowl victory, defeating the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI.
Carson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
â??Hometown Hall of Famersâ?¢ presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstateâ?? is the Hall of Fameâ??s first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of its 50th anniversary in August 2012. For more information on the program and event videos, fans can visit www.profootballhof.com.