ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --No. 7 was already revered at Stanford University. Now, it will officially be retired.
Thirty-one years after John Elway's prolific collegiate career came to a close, the number he helped make famous in college and the pros will be retired during halftime of Stanford's Nov. 7 matchup against the Oregon Ducks.
"Through the years the No. 7 has meant so much to the Stanford community," said David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. "You can't talk about Stanford football without talking about John Elway."
Elway becomes the third Stanford player to have his jersey retired.
"I am extremely humbled that Stanford has chosen to recognize me in this very special way," Elway said. "It's a tremendous honor to join Cardinal legends Ernie Nevers and Jim Plunkett with this distinction.
"Being a student-athlete at Stanford and earning my degree from the school are two things I take the utmost pride in accomplishing. Without question, my four years at Stanford played an integral role in who I am and any success I've had. In particular, my teammates and coaches deserve so much credit for making me better, both on and off the field."
In his time as the quarterback for the Cardinal, Elway completed more than 62 percent of his passes and threw 77 touchdowns. He still owns the school's single-game record with six touchdown passes, which he threw against Oregon State in 1980.
The consensus All-American and two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and his No. 7 jersey was retired by the Broncos in 1999.
The number has been worn by a handful of Stanford players since Elway's playing days, including 2009 Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart. Currently, two student-athletes -- Ty Montgomery and Aziz Shittu -- wear No. 7.
They will "be the last two to put it on for Stanford University," Shaw said.
Now the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, Elway still fondly remembers his days as a collegian. And he'll get to relive them a little when his preseason top-five Cardinal take on the preseason top-five Ducks in November.
"I will always cherish my time on campus as well as the friendships from Stanford that have lasted more than 30 years," Elway said. "I look forward to returning for this occasion and celebrating with the great Cardinal fans."