One of the best defenders in the history of Illinois football received quite an honor on Thursday night.

Former Illini and NFL linebacker Dana Howard was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, being recognized for his accomplishments at the collegiate and professional level. The event was honoring athletes from the State of Illinois, and Howard was a native of East St. Louis.

Howard played at Illinois from 1991-1994, racking up awards almost as frequently as tackles during that four year stretch.

The linebacker amassed 100 tackles each of his four seasons in Champaign, earning B1G Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1993 and 1994 and was also named an All-American in those same years. He also took home the Dick Butkus Award in 1994.

Howard was drafted in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft, being picked 168th by the Dallas Cowboys. He played sparingly throughout his brief career at the professional level and had stops with the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.

In the four years that Howard was with the Illini, he totaled more than 500 tackles while the team posted a 24-22-1 record.