The New England Patriots announced Sunday center Jon Morris will be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.
Morris is the first selection of a newly formed senior committee that will ensure players from the franchise's early years will receive consideration with a growing number of players from the championship years in the mix. The senior committee will meet once every five years to deliberate on players who have been retired at least 25 years.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft made the call to Morris on Sunday.
"It was overwhelming," Morris said. "I thought my days were numbered. This announcement came as a complete surprise. I consider this the crowning achievement of my football life, and I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the selection committee for allowing me to experience this feeling."
Morris was a Green Bay Packers second-round draft choice in 1964, but the Holy Cross grad eschewed the opportunity to play for Vince Lombardi and stayed in Massachusetts.
Morris was a member of the Patriots' 50th anniversary team, was chosen for six AFL all-star squads and one Pro Bowl. He remained with the team as a radio analyst from 1979 to 1987.
Fans will vote for another honoree, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Morris. Three finalists will be revealed April 15 at Patriots.com, with balloting open for a month.