Former offensive lineman Hank Fraley named to NEC Mount Rushmore

Hank Fraley was named to the NEC Mount Rushmore. Photo Credit: RMU Athletics

Hank Fraley was named to the NEC Mount Rushmore. Photo Credit: RMU Athletics

Ethan Morrison

MOON TOWNSHIP – Former Robert Morris offensive lineman Hank Fraley (1996-99) was selected to be on the Northeast Conference Mount Rushmore Football Team. The team was announced by the conference on Thursday afternoon.

The NEC is celebrating their 40th season as an NCAA Division-I conference, and to pay tribute to all the greats in the conference, the NEC released their Mount Rushmore award winners. These athletes were selected by a conference panel which is based on their accomplishments both in the conference as well as on a national level.

Fraley, a native of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter as an offensive tackle for the Colonials. The lineman received All-NEC honors in three-out-of-four years while on the team. He also helped RMU in their quest for three consecutive conference championships in 1997-99. In 1999, Fraley was dubbed the mid-major national championship according to Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette.

After his playing days for the Colonials, Fraley went on to have an illustrious career in the NFL. In April of 2000, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Before the 2000 NFL season began, Fraley was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles. He then went on to become the starting center for the Eagles in 2001 and helped lead the team to four consecutive NFC Championship games from 2002 to 2005. He also was the first Robert Morris football alumni to appear in the Super Bowl when the Philadelphia Eagles squared off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

After his time with the Eagles, Fraley spent time with the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams. During his professional playing career, the tackle transitioned to center and played in 142 total games, starting 123 of them.

After Fraley retired from the NFL with the St. Louis Rams in 2010, he began his coaching career as the offensive line coach at San Diego, and later continued at San Jose State and UCLA. He also served as the assistant offensive line coach in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings for three seasons along with the Detroit Lions for two seasons. In 2020, he was promoted to the Lions head offensive line coach.

Lorenzo Jerome from St. Francis, Christian Kuntz of Duquesne, and Rick Sarille of Wagner join Fraley on the NEC football Mount Rushmore.

Fraley’s number was retired by the Colonials on September 22, 2001. He was also inducted into the Robert Morris Athletic Hall of Fame in the class of 2006 along with being named in the Inaugural Class of the NEC Hall of Fame in 2010 as part of the league’s 30th anniversary.