Wisconsin Badgers fans will never forget Ron Dayne, and now the rest of college football won't either. Tuesday morning at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York, Dayne was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame by the National Football Foundation.
Dayne (1996-99) rushed for 7,125 yards in his four years as a Badger, becoming the first college football player to eclipse the 7,000-yard mark and setting college football's still-current all-time rushing record. He won the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards in 1999 and was a three-time first-team All-American.
*Total includes bowl stats
"I'm very excited and thrilled to be mentioned with the greatest names in college football history," Dayne said in a statement released by the university. "This is a tremendous honor for me and the university. As with everything in my career, I see this as a team honor and something I never could have achieved without my teammates and coaches."
"In my opinion, Ron was simply the most dominant running back that ever played college football," added Director of Athletics and Dayne's former coach, Barry Alvarez. "If the rules back then were the same as they are now, with bowl games counting towards his career rushing total, no one would even come close to touching his record. We've had a lot of great players come through here but when people think of Wisconsin football, they think of Ron Dayne running the football."
Dayne had his No. 33 retired by Wisconsin in 2007 before joining the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. He enters the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot, and joins 12 other former Badgers players or coaches. In true Wisconsin fashion, he joins three other running backs in Alan Ameche, Pat Harder and Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch.
|George Little, Coach||1955|
|Dave Schreiner, End||1955|
|Harry Stuhldreher, Coach||1958|
|Pat O'Dea, Punter||1962|
|Phil King, Coach||1962|
|Robert Butler, OL||1972|
|Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, RB||1974|
|Alan Ameche, RB||1975|
|Marty Below, OL||1988|
|Pat Harder, FB||1993|
|Pat Richter, WR||1996|
|Barry Alvarez, Coach||2010|
|Ron Dayne, RB||2013|
Already a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, Dayne remains just one of four players to be named MVP of the Granddaddy of Them Hall twice (1999 and 2000). His 1,863 rushing yards in 1996 were also a NCAA freshman record that lasted eight years until Adrian Peterson rushed for 1,925 in 2004.
Dayne and the rest of the 2013 class will be inducted at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. The class will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2, 2014 and officially enshrined later that summer.