Roanoke’s Ronde Barber enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame

‘Ordinary was not an option.’

Former NFL players Ronde Barber, right, poses with his twin brother Tiki Barber and Ronde's bust during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ROANOKE, Va. – It was a special Saturday afternoon in Canton, Ohio as the nine newest members were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Among those in the 2023 class was Roanoke native, Ronde Barber.

The Cave Spring High School and University of Virginia product was inducted by his twin brother Tiki.

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“I never set out to be one of the best 371 players in professional football,” Ronde said during his acceptance speech. “If anything, I wanted to do things that others could not and would not do that defined my career.”

Upon being drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Ronde said he was simply hoping to make an impact and make it stick. It wouldn’t take long before number 20 would become iconic in Tampa. He led the Buccaneers in interceptions in 6 of his 16 seasons. In fact, the cornerback ended his career with 47 interceptions, 5 pro bowls, 28 sacks and 14 touchdowns.

“Amongst my peers I really felt like I had to do more to be equal, do uncommon things, find legendary,” said Barber. “I’m here because I refused to just be a guy. Ordinary was not an option.”

Barber was joined along with his family during Saturday’s induction ceremony that included his wife and daughters and his mom, Geraldine, who’s credited with steering Ronde and Tiki in the right direction as a single mother. Many of Barber’s coaches were also present including Mike Tolley, his youth league coach, and former Cave Spring coach Steve Spangler.

“I set out to become uncommon. I learned along the way that the NFL is a special place, man. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter where your journey started. Nobody gets to define you but you. It rewards you to dare to be uncommon and choose to be a little bit extraordinary.”

The other members of the 2023 class were Don Coryell, Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko, Darrell Revis, Ken Riley, Zach Thomas, Joe Thomas and DeMarcus Ware.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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