FOXBORO -- Vince Wilfork has a pair of Super Bowl rings from his career with the New England Patriots. On Saturday, he added a red jacket to his collection.
Wilfork took his spot in the Patriots Hall of Fame in Foxboro on Saturday, after being voted in by fans in his first year of eligibility. Wilfork becomes the 32nd member of the organization to go into the team's Hall of Fame, and is just the sixth player to be elected in their first year of eligibility.
"When you look at who I am as a person, what I've accomplished, you guys are not just fans to me. You are my family," Wilfork said at his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I worked hard my whole life. I had the greatest teammates ever, the greatest fans, and the greatest coach ever. I want to thank everyone. Everyone is my family."
Given his massive impact on the New England defense for 11 years, it should be no surprise that Wilfork is enshrined after just one year on the ballot. Drafted with the 21st overall pick in 2004, Wilfork anchored some of the best defenses in the NFL for over a decade. The New England defense finished in the top 10 in points allowed eight times during Wilfork's run with the team.
He was, arguably, one of the best nose tackles to ever play the game. Big Vince was also one of the more exciting and fun players to watch in a position that usually goes unnoticed.
Even at 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds, the big fella was incredibly athletic and fairly nimble on the field. Look no further than his interception against the San Diego Chargers -- one of three picks for Wilfork during his career -- as a prime example.
Wilfork clogged running lanes for over a decade in New England and was a nightmare matchup for anyone going up against the Patriots. He made five Pro Bowls, including three straight from 2010-12, and was a First-Team All Pro in 2012. He earned Second-Team All Pro three times: in 2007, 2010, and 2011.
Wilfork won Super Bowls with the Patriots in 2004 and 2014, and played in 21 playoff games during his time in New England. In those contests, Wilfork racked up three sacks -- 2.5 of which came in the team's 2011 run to the Super Bowl -- a fumble recovery, and 81 total tackles.
"As great of a player as he was, and he was great, he's even greater as a person and a leader. When they do the captains for the Patriots Hall of Fame, he should be up there," Belichick said at the ceremony on Saturday. "I would just like to personally thank you for what you have done for me. Your leadership, your competitiveness, your team attitude, and your physical and mental toughness. Thank you for all you've done for me, my family, and this organization. You are truly not only a Hall of Famer, but you're one of the captains of this Hall of Fame team."
He is also a member of several All-Patriots teams. He's on the Patriots All-2000s and All-2010s teams, the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, and the Patriots All-Dynasty Team.
It's only fitting that he now has a red jacket and has taken his rightful spot in the team's Hall of Fame.
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