Nashville, Tenn. – During halftime of Big Blue’s first game against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 1, the Tennessee State Athletic Department will retire legendary TSU football player Richard Dent’s No. 95 jersey.
Dent will be the honoree of the 15th annual John Merritt Classic and his jersey will become the first one retired in program history. The only other retired jersey by TSU is former men’s basketball player Richard “Skull” Barnett’s No. 35.
Dent, a native of Atlanta Ga., became the first former TSU player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. He played with the TSU tigers from 1979-82 and was drafted to the Chicago Bears soon after completing his last season with the Tigers.
Throughout his time at TSU, Dent was a three time All-American and is currently third in the school's all-time sack list. While helping to lead the Tigers to three Black college National Champions, Dent finished his career with 39 sacks.
After playing Football at Tennessee State University, Dent was drafted to the Chicago Bears in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft. In 1986, Dent won a NFL championship with the Bears and was named Super Bowl XX MVP. He is also the Only TSU tiger alum to be named game MVP.
Beyond the Bears, Dent spent one year with the 49ers before eventually returning to Chicago in 1995. While under contract with the 49ers in 1994, Richard Dent won yet another Super Bowl ring. In 1996 Dent played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997 as a designated pass rusher for them both. Not long after his 1997 season, Dent retired and ended his lifetime career with 137.5 sacks and 8 interceptions, which put him Third in NFL history behind Reggie white and Bruce Smith at the time of his retirement.
Dent was selected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Feb. 5, 2011. He was also inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame on February 15, 2008.
In addition, the city of Nashville will award Dent a medallion for his outstanding accomplishments.