Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”

-RONNIE LOTT

Darrin Nelson elected to the College Football Hall of Fame

Darrin Nelson, a member of the Lott IMPACT Trophy Advisory Board, has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The former Stanford All-American said he was excited and surprised when a football arrived at his office in the UC Irvine Athletic Department this week.  “It was like one of those game balls and it said, Congrtulations and Welcome to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  It was a big thrill.”

Nelson, who oversees the basketball and volleyball programs at UCI as well as an involvement in community relations and development, is best known for being the first player in college football to gain 1,000 yards rushing and catching 50 passes in one season.  And, he did it three times.  “I missed two games the other  year,” he said.

“But I guess that was my biggest accomplishment plus our games against Cal.  We only lost to them once (beating them three times).”

Nelson said he was influenced greatly by his parents and high school coach Gene Zeller at Piux X in Downey.  “I thought he was crazy.  He made us do these agilitiy drills, running from station to station very fast.  I guess it helped me, though.”

Nelson, now 55, is the only Stanford player ever to be named first-team all-conference four times.  He was drafted in the first round (7th overall) of the 1982 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings.  In his professional career, he ran for  4,442 yards, caught 286 passes and scored 23 touchdowns.

Nelson says he has never met any of the other inductees in this year’s class, but is looking forward to it at the awards banquet in December.

Here is a list of the induction class:
•  DB Dre Bly, North Carolina (1996-98)
•  OT Tony Boselli, USC (1991-94)
•  DT Dave Butz, Purdue (1970-72)
•  LB Shane Conlan, Penn State (1983-86)
•  QB Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech (1996-99)
•  LB John Huard, Maine (1964-66)
•  RB Darrin Nelson, Stanford (1977-78, 1980-81)
•  OL Willie Roaf, Louisiana Tech (1990-92)
•  QB John Sciarra, UCLA (1972-75)
•  WR Sterling Sharpe, South Carolina (1983, 1985-87)
•  CB Leonard Smith, McNeese State (1979-82)
•  LB Derrick Thomas, Alabama (1985-88)
•  RB LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU (1997-00)
•  TE Wesley Walls, Mississippi (1985-88)
•  Coach Mike Bellotti, Chico State (Calif.) (1984-88), Oregon (1995-08)
•  Coach Jerry Moore, North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85), Appalachian State (1989-2012)