Ray Lewis never put any limits on himself. Even as a young kid growing up in Lakeland, Fla., surrounded by poverty and crime, Lewis not only told his best friend, Kwame King, that he was going to make it out, he vowed that he was going to make it big.

The second of the Ravens’ two first-round picks in their inaugural draft in 1996, Lewis set his sights not just on becoming an immediate NFL starter, he wanted to become the best middle linebacker in the NFL. After establishing himself as a perennial Pro Bowl performer, Lewis promised Ravens owner Art Modell that he’d deliver him a championship.

Lewis learned Saturday afternoon that he can now check off another box and revel in the highest individual honor of a player’s career. Exactly five years after he played his last game and went out as a Super Bowl champion, Lewis was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.