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Former Jets DT Marty Lyons Elected to Senior Bowl Hall of Fame

Star at Alabama Played in the 1979 All-Star Event


Former Jets defensive tackle Marty Lyons, who helped anchor the interior of the Green & White's famed "New York Sack Exchange" defensive line in the 1980s, has been elected to the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.

Prior to being drafted by the Jets No. 14 overall in 1979, Lyons played in the 1979 Senior Bowl for the South team, which was coached by then Jets head coach Walt Micheals. While in Mobile, AL, Lyons also played with East Central Oklahoma State's Mark Gastineau, who went on to be drafted in the second round (No. 41) by New York and earn a spot in the Jets Ring of Honor.

Lyons played three seasons for Alabama and their legendary head coach Paul Bear Bryant from 1975-78. In his final season, Lyons was named a first-team All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a team captain for the Tide's national championship team.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Senior Bowl committee for this great honor," Lyons said. "It's a privilege to represent the University of Alabama, the coaching staff, my teammates, and the great fans of the Crimson Tide."

Lyons played 11 seasons for the Jets (1979-89), 147 games (135 starts) and registered 43 sacks and 8 fumble recoveries. He exceeded 6 sacks in the season three times and was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 1984. Lyons directly attributes his success getting drafted to playing the Senior Bowl.

"Playing in the Senior Bowl provided me with an invaluable opportunity to showcase my talent against the best players in college football," Lyons said. "The experience played a pivotal role in my journey to becoming a first-round pick of the New York Jets, where I spent my entire 11-year NFL career."

The 2024 Senior Bowl class also included Carson Palmer, current Texans HC DeMeco Ryans, Eric Weddle and Roddy White. Lyons joins Jets legend Joe Namath as the team's only inductees.

"We are excited to bring another accomplished group of Senior Bowl alums back to Mobile," said Reese's Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy. "Each of these men is among the greatest players in their respective NFL franchise' histories and we are thrilled to be honoring their incredible careers."

The Jets have been involved with the Senior Bowl over the past few seasons. In 2024, defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was the National Team head coach for the 75th anniversary edition of the all-star event. And in 2022, prior to the decision to divide the Senior Bowl staffs into coaches from multiple teams, the entire Jets staff coached the National Team.

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