Dat Nguyen, the former All-Pro Dallas Cowboys linebacker, is heading to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Texas A&M All-American is one of 13 players and coaches that will make up the hall’s newest class of inductees, which was announced Monday. Other notable names to be inducted include Peyton Manning, Matt Leinart, Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, and former University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier.
A member of the Aggies from 1995 to '98, Nguyen finished his A&M career with 51 consecutive starts, 517 career tackles — an A&M record, and a 10.7 tackles-per-game average. He also received the Bednarik and Rotary Lombardi awards for best defensive college football player and best linebacker as a college senior before graduating with a degree in agricultural development.
“I have been so fortunate and I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” Nguyen said in a statement. “The game of football has taught me so much about life. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, a great football family and the outstanding Aggie network.”
Throughout his career, Nguyen has spoken to interviewers about his childhood and life as the child of Vietnamese refugees.
Born in a refugee center in Arkansas in 1975, Nguyen’s parents and five siblings were among the last people to escape Saigon before the city was taken over by North Vietnamese forces, according to the New York Times. The family would eventually settle in Texas’ Gulf Coast, where they began a shrimping business and later opened a restaurant. Nguyen entered the restaurant business himself last year, owning and operating a Chick-Fil-A in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for December and each college is expected to honor their players the following fall.