College Football Hall of Famer and West Virginia football legend Darryl Talley inspired terror in the hearts of opposing teams for four seasons in Morgantown, and as such, WVU football announced the No. 90 jersey he wore will be retired this season.
Talley, who spent four seasons at WVU from 1978-1982 and 14 seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Vikings, will become the fourth WVU player to have their number retired, with the West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics holding the retirement ceremony on Oct. 2 when WVU plays Texas Tech at Milan Puskar Stadium.
College Football Hall of Famer Darryl Talley was one of the most prolific and feared defenders in West Virginia football history.
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) July 1, 2021
One of the most prolific defenders in WVU history, Talley accumulated 484 tackles (282 solo, 202 assisted), 28 tackles for loss and 19 sacks during his time in Morgantown. He was a four-year starter who was recognized as a consensus All-American in 1982 after leading WVU to the Gator Bowl.
One of the most decorated players in WVU history, Talley helped transform a couple of so-so WVU teams into nationally ranked contenders that won nine games in ’81 and ’82.
Selected in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft, Talley spent 12 seasons with the Bills, serving as a star linebacker between 1983 and 1994 — including all four Super Bowls. Talley was a two-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro player for the Bills, finishing as the leading tackler in team history with 1,137 tackles.
After two seasons — one each with the Falcons and Vikings — Talley retired after the 1996 season and was eventually inducted into the Bills’ Wall of Fame in 2003 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. He finished his NFL career with 1,252 tackles, 38.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.
Talley’s jersey retirement comes after he’s met the requirements listed by the WVU Athletics Council: a WVU undergraduate degree, enshrinement in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, induction into the Mountaineer Legends Society and either induction into the College or NFL Hall of Fame.
With a bachelor’s degree from WVU in physical education, induction in the WVU Sports and College Football Hall of Fame and an inaugural induction into the Mountaineer Legends Society, Talley was an easy choice.
Joining Sam Huff (75), Ira Rodgers (21) and Bruce Bosley (77), Talley’s 90 will officially be retired once current WVU sophomore defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor finishes his career as a Mountaineer.