SANTA ANA PUEBLO — Brian Urlacher, the former University of New Mexico star, said he wishes fellow 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame classmate Terrell Owens would show up to the ceremony on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.
Owens, the controversial wide receiver, is angered that it took him three years to get inducted and he says he will not attend the ceremony.
“It’s his decision,” said Urlacher, who was at Santa Ana Golf Club on Monday for the New Mexico Grande Slam charity golf tournament. “He has his reasons, and they’re his reasons. We’ll miss him. I wish he was going but that’s the way it is. He wants to do what he wants to do.”
Urlacher, who played football at Lovington High, said he is thrilled to be inducted in his first year of eligibility. He said he is putting the finishing touches on his induction speech.
“It’s the pinnacle of football,” Urlacher said of his induction. “If you’re a professional football player, that’s where you want to get to. That wasn’t my goal when I started, but I’m definitely excited that I’m going to be in there.”
Urlacher, the former Chicago Bears linebacker, said he was not surprised that two linebackers were inducted this year, as Baltimore’s Ray Lewis is also being inducted.
“I knew Ray was getting in; there was no surprise about that,” Urlacher said. “I knew Ray and Randy (Moss) were getting in. The thing the voters did this year, they didn’t say, ‘We can’t get two linebackers in,’ or, ‘we can’t get two receivers in.’ They looked at what you did on the football field. I think that was important, because in years past I feel like, well, ‘we can’t go two linemen, or two quarterbacks.’
“They didn’t take that into consideration. It was: if you were good enough to get in they put you in. I think that was a good thing.”