Former Pittsburgh Steeler and current NFL free agent Joe Haden is being honored by his alma mater of Florida as part of the school’s 2022 Hall of Fame class as announced by the school on Thursday.
Haden played at Florida from 2007-09. He started all 40 games in that span, including being the first-ever true freshman cornerback to start their freshman year season opener at Florida. He was a Freshman All-American First Team selection that season.
He was a key member of their 2008 BCS national title team during an unprecedented run of success for the athletic department that saw them win two football and two men’s basketball championships in just three years.
In his last season at Florida, he was a consensus All-American. Overall he registered eight interceptions and 218 tackles across three seasons at Florida. He also managed to help out a bit on the pass rush, gathering 3.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss.
He’ll be inducted with six others including Jeff Demps (Football and Men’s Track and Field 2010-2012), Chandler Parsons (Men’s Basketball 2007-11), Conor Dwyer (Men’s Swimming, 2009-11), Michelle Moultrie (Softball, 2009-12), Christian Taylor (Men’s Track and Field, 2009-11), Mike Zunino (Baseball, 2010-12) and Steve Beeland as the Distinguished Letter winner (Men’s Tennis, 1967-69, Women’s Tennis HC, 1982-84 and Men’s Tennis HC, 1985-88).
Haden was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the first round with the seventh overall pick. He spent seven years there before being cut and signing with the Steelers in 2017. He spent five years in Pittsburgh gathering 10 interceptions as the team’s No. 1 cornerback. He earned his third Pro Bowl nod in 2019, which was also his only one in Pittsburgh. Haden remains unsigned as of the writing, but said his public goodbyes to Steelers fans and is not expected to return. The Steelers signed free agent cornerback Levi Wallace from the Buffalo Bills to replace him.