EUGENE, Ore. - Haloti Ngata joined the starting lineup of the Oregon Duck football team by the 5th game of the 2002 season as a true freshman.
He concluded his career as a football player atop Kilimanjaro in Afrida after 13 seasons in the NFL.
View this post on Instagram
Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years. I’m retiring on top. I might be finished playing football, but I’m holding tight to the friendships, memories and wisdom I’ve gained along the way. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” Walking away with no regrets, just peace in knowing I gave it my all and had a helluva lot of fun doing it. 💪🏽 #kissestotheskyformomanddad @ravens @detroitlionsnfl @philadelphiaeagles
"Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude," he wrote on Instagram. "Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years. I’m retiring on top."
A knee injury in his second season made Duck fans wait to see the full impact: In his final season for the Ducks in 2005, when he led the Pac-10 for stops by an interior lineman.
He became the first Duck in more than 40 years to be honored as a consensus All-American.
And his talent translated to the pros: the Baltimore Ravens picks him 12th overall in the first round.
He played 9 seasons for the Ravens before being traded to Detroit Lions. He finished his career in Philadelphia with the Eagles.