Dynamic wide receiver Roddy White, the Falcons’ all-time leading receiver, will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor during the game against Carolina on Dec. 8.
White announced his induction on social media Tuesday. The Falcons made the announcement official later in the day.
White will go down in history as one of the franchise’s great players. It is no surprise that the four-time Pro Bowl selection will be added to the team’s Ring of Honor.
“We’re thrilled to really acknowledge and give Roddy the credit for an incredible career with us, both on the field and off the field,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “His leadership has been an inspiration to a lot of people along with his engagement in the community, both what is known publicly and what he has done privately. We are thrilled to have Roddy as part of the Ring of Honor.”
Quarterback Matt Ryan and former Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins broke the news to White.
White took Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who was drafted in 2011, under his wings.
“When I first got here, Roddy helped me out tremendously,” Jones said. “He gave me the blueprint to being a great receiver. Just the way to work and everything.”
The two have remained close.
“Til this day, Roddy is like a brother to me,” Jones said. “It’s a great accomplishment to be inducted into the Ring of Honor here at the Atlanta Falcons. My hats off to him, he had a great career here.”
White was selected by the Falcons in the first round (27th overall) of the 2005 NFL draft from Alabama-Birmingham. After a slow start to his career, White developed into the franchise’s most prolific receiver during the league’s evolution into more of a passing league.
White amassed 808 catches, 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns over 11 seasons with the Falcons.
Ryan and White were one of the league’s most productive duos from 2008-12, when White averaged 96 catches per season. He led the league with 115 catches in 2010 and followed up with 100 catches in 2011.
White appeared to be interfered with on the fourth down play in the NFC Championship game against San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2013, that could have propelled the team to its second Super Bowl appearance.
In the 2012 season, the Falcons (13-3) reached the Conference Championship for the first time since 2004. A comeback 30-28 win over Seattle in the Divisional Playoff set up a meeting with San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1). San Francisco rallied from 17 points down to take a 28-24 lead with 8 minutes remaining in the game. Atlanta drove 70 yards to San Francisco's 10 yard line. On 4th down, a pass to Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (center), defended by San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, fell incomplete. San Francisco moved on to the Super Bowl, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC
White’s original wide receivers coach was George Stewart. White got moving under his second position coach, Paul Petrino and continued to play at a high level under Terry Robiskie.
“We are very excited for him,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He represents everything in a Falcons player. The toughness that he’s demonstrated time and again. He’s certainly earned that space in the ring.”
Warrick Dunn was the last player to go in the Ring of Honor in 2017.
“Roddy is one of the greatest players to ever put on a Falcons uniform, and even more importantly he is a man of tremendous character that I and my entire family have profound personal affection and respect for,” Falcons owner Blank said at the time of White’s release in March 2016. “I have developed a special relationship with him over the years.”
White will be only the 11th member of the exclusive group that includes running back William Andrews, quarterback Steve Bartkowski, linebacker Tommy Nobis, linebacker Jessie Tuggle, center Jeff Van Note, tackle Mike Kenn, defensive end Claude Humphrey, cornerback Deion Sanders and running back Gerald Riggs.
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