When the College Football Hall Of Fame inducts its latest into its roster this year, Dat Nguyen — the former Dallas Cowboys linebacker and football’s first Vietnamese American All-Pro player — will be among the greats who played the game.
The National Football Foundation announced on Monday the 13 players of the class of 2017, which also includes Peyton Manning, Steve Spurrier and Matt Leinart.
— Football Foundation (@NFFNetwork) January 9, 2017
Nguyen is honored for his record-breaking time at Texas A&M University, where he played from 1995 to 1998. As a senior, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Lombardi Award. He remains one of the university’s all-time leading tacklers, and has already been inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall Of Fame, Cotton Bowl Hall Of Fame and Texas Sports Hall Of Fame.
Post-college, he was selected by the Cowboys in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft, and stayed with the team for seven seasons before retiring.
Nguyen, the youngest of six children, was born in an Arkansas refugee center after his family fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon.
“I have been so fortunate and I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” Nguyen said in a statement to his alma mater. “The game of football has taught me so much about life.”