Legendary Kentucky lineman honored

Former Kentucky offensive lineman Bob Talamini will be inducted into the Kentucky Chapter of the National Football League Players Association Hall of Fame today at the Lexington Opera House.

Talamini will be one of six players inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes pro football standouts who played their college football in the commonwealth of Kentucky, according to a release.

Talamini played for the Wildcats from 1957-59 and helped lead Kentucky to a 5-4-1 record during his junior season. He earned third-team All-SEC honors as a senior in 1959.

He was selected by the Houston Oilers the second round of the 1960 American Football League draft and played nine seasons in the league. He played 126 games at left guard without missing a game and was a part of two AFL championships with the Oilers. He played eight years in Houston before joining the New York Jets in 1968.

Talamini made first-team All-AFL in 1962 and was selected to six straight AFL All-Star games through 1967. He helped anchor an offensive line that helped Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda set passing records that stood for decades, while creating holes for Hall of Fame running back Billy Cannon and standout backs Charlie Tolar, Sid Blanks and Hoyle Granger.

In his only season with the Jets, Talamini was a part of an offensive line that protected quarterback Joe Namath and running back Matt Snell. He participated in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history when the Jets defeated the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Eight Kentucky players will also be honored in the inaugural “All-Commonwealth Team,” which recognizes players from every college football team in the commonwealth of Kentucky.

Do-everything wide receiver Randall Cobb, running back Derrick Locke, quarterback Mike Hartline, offensive guard Larry Warford, linebacker Danny Trevathan, safety Winston Guy and punter Ryan Tydlacka represented the Wildcats. Wide receiver Chris Matthews was an honorable-mention selection.

The selection committee included representatives from the Kentucky NFL Alumni and Kentucky media.