By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
2:18 PM EST, March 4, 2014
Growing up in Alabama in the 1970s, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome excelled in three sports before emerging as one of the top players in the history of the University of Alabama.
Now, Newsome has been selected to the National High School Hall of Fame.
A Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end with the original Cleveland Browns, Newsome played football, basketball and baseball at Colbert County High School in Leighton, Ala.
Colbert County won state championships in football and basketball with Newsome in 1972, reaching the state baseball finals the following year.
Newsome is joined in the 2014 National High School Hall of Fame class by ex-Oriole Mike Devereaux, former NBA player Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, pro baseball player Casey Blake (who briefly played for the Orioles) and Olympic athlete Suzy Powell.
Newsome caught 662 passes for 7,930 yards and 47 touchdowns for the Browns in 13 NFL seasons, never missing a game.
An All-American selection at Alabama playing for the late Bear Bryant, Newsome caught 102 passes for 2,070 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He was named the Alabama Player of the Decade for the 1970s and was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection. The Crimson Tide went 42-6 during Newsome's four collegiate seasons.
Bryant once said Newsome was "the greatest end in Alabama history and that includes Don Hutson. A total team player, fine blocker, outstanding leader, great receiver with concentration, speed, hands."
He has been an executive with the Ravens since their first year in 1996.