The inevitable has finally become a reality for Brett Favre.
The football legend who grew up in Hancock County, became a star at Southern Miss and grew into one of the game's greats in the NFL was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The legendary quarterback for the Green Bay Packers becomes just the second Coast native to be inducted into the Hall, joining former Detroit Lions cornerback Lem Barney. A second-round pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, Barney played at 33rd Avenue High School in Gulfport before playing his college ball at Jackson State.
USM will celebrate its second inductee into the Hall of Fame after Ray Guy became the first punter selected in 2015.
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"The University of Southern Mississippi's celebrated football history would not be the same without Brett Favre," USM president Rodney Bennett said in a statement released to the Sun Herald. "His accomplishments at the university, along with his stellar professional football career, certainly place him among the most elite to ever play the game. We are proud and excited that Brett will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining another Golden Eagle legend, Ray Guy."
Ken Stabler, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Tony Dungy Ed DeBartolo Jr. and senior selection Dick Stanfel were also elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Favre was a four-year starter at quarterback for USM from 1987-90 before becoming a second-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991.
Former USM football coach Jeff Bower served as Favre's offensive coordinator at USM in 1988. After a year in the same position at Oklahoma State, Bower returned to Southern Miss as head coach for Favre's final game at USM in 1990 - the All-American Bowl in Birmingham.
Bower recalls a visit to Hattiesburg during Favre's USM career by the man who became the quarterback's first head coach with the Packers, Mike Holmgren.
At the time, Holmgren was offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
"I told him at the time, 'If we'll ever have a first-rounder this is it. If he isn't a first-rounder I haven't seen one,'" Bower said.
Favre was the first selection of the second round in the 1991 draft by the Falcons. He was traded to Green Bay prior to the 1992 campaign, a move that allowed him to become one of the Packers' best players.
"What a great career he had," Bower said. "He was something special."
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who will face Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Sunday's Super Bowl, has eclipsed many of Favre's career passing records, but Favre and Manning are still tied for the most wins as a starting quarterback in the regular season - 186.
Favre has a strong hold on the NFL record for most consecutive starts at 297 after battling through numerous injuries in his career to take the field every Sunday.
Favre was the first NFL player with 500 career touchdown passes and 70,000 career passing yards.
He was named NFL MVP three times, won Super Bowl XXXI, won the NFC championship twice (1996 and 1997) and was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times.