You youngins may not remember this, but there was a time when linebacker was the unquestioned strength of the Texas A&M football team, when the Aggies quibbled with Penn State over who was most deserving of the moniker “Linebacker U.” Nobody embodied an Aggie linebacker quite like Dat Nguyen, and on Monday he was announced as part of the 2017 class of inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Nguyen finished his college career (1995-1998) as the Aggies' career record holder with 51 consecutive starts, 517 career tackles and a 10.7 tackles-per-game average. His 517 career tackles are still a Texas A&M record and he is the only Aggie to ever lead the team in tackles for four consecutive years. In 1995, he was named Southwest Conference Defensive Newcomer of the Year. From 1996 to 1998, he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors three consecutive times. In 1997, he was named the Aggies’ MVP. In 1998, he was named a consensus All-American by every awarding publication, won the Bednarik Award for College Defensive Player of the Year, and the Lombardi Award for Outstanding College Lineman.
It is unclear if his bust will feature a standard or tie-dye collar.
Dat provided the type of relentless, physical linebacker play that A&M has sorely missed over the past few seasons, so let’s take a moment to re-live some of his greatness with the most ‘90s-style highlights video we could find.