Lions assistant general manager Ray Agnew was one of the most dominant defensive players in college football from 1986 to 1989 before embarking on an 11-year NFL playing career that included a Super Bowl XXXIV championship.
This weekend, Agnew will be recognized for his college career at North Carolina State by being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Honors Class.
This year's class will be celebrated during on-field pregame festivities at the 2023 ACC Football Championship Game at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Bank of America Stadium.
"It'll be exciting to be there with my family and I appreciate the honor," Agnew said. "It will be good to look back on and be appreciated for the career I had at NC State.
"Every year going through the draft process now, I think back about what those players are thinking. You don't know where you're going, but just the joy of knowing you're going to continue to keep playing this game. You know you're going to get picked, but you just don't know where. And for me to go on and become a top pick in the NFL after my career at NC State, it was special."
Agnew had a decorated career with the Wolfpack, earning ACC Rookie of the Year in 1986 and being named All-ACC twice in 1988 and 1989. He was the team's most valuable player in 1989 and was a two-time winner of the Carey Brewbaker Award, awarded to the team's Most Valuable Defensive Lineman (1989 and 1990). Agnew led NC State in sacks in 1987 and the ACC in tackles-for-loss in 1989.
He went on to be drafted No. 10 overall by the New England Patriots in the 1990 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Agnew was named to the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) NFL All-Rookie Team. Agnew played 11 seasons in the NFL (1990-2000) for the Patriots, New York Giants and St. Louis Rams, totaling 448 tackles, 22.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Agnew served as the Director of Pro Personnel for the Los Angeles Rams from 2017-20 and is now the Assistant General Manager for the Detroit Lions, serving as General Manager Brad Holmes' right-hand man.
Agnew joins Boston College's Gosder Cherilus, Clemson's Jeff Bostic, Duke's Matt Daniels, Florida State's Charlie Ward, Georgia Tech's George O'Leary, Louisville's Michael Bush, Miami's Dennis Harrah, North Carolina's Alge Crumpler, Pitt's Jackie Sherrill, Syracuse's Robert Konrad, Virginia's Rondé Barber, Virginia Tech's Jeff King and Wake Forest's Bill Ard as ACC Honors inductees this year.