Earnest Byner was a standout fullback for the Pirates from 1980-83. He started three seasons for ECU and finished his career with 2,049 rushing yards on 378 carries (5.4 average).
Byner was a 10th round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1984 and played the first five seasons of his career with the organization. After being traded to the Washington Redskins prior to the 1989 season, he enjoyed his finest season in the NFL in 1990 when he finished fourth in the league with 1,219 yards rushing, earning a spot in his first Pro Bowl. Byner also earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1991, after rushing for 1,048 yards, which was fifth best in the NFL, and leading the Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXVI.
Byner remained with the Redskins until the 1994 season in which he returned to Cleveland and played out his career within the Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. In 1997, Byner retired from professional football after 14 seasons. He finished his career with over 8,000 career rushing yards, 56 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns.
In 2001, Byner was named one of the 70 greatest Washington Redskins of all-time. Byner was the first inductee of the Ravens Ring of Honor.