Darrin Nelson is named to College Football Hall of Fame


Former Stanford football great Darrin Nelson has been selected to the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class in an announcement made Thursday by the National Football Foundation.

The 18th Stanford player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Nelson will be honored during the National Football Foundation's annual awards dinner on Dec. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.

"Thanks guys," Nelson told his friends on Facebook. "You know you all had something to do with me being the person I am . . . I am so excited and honored."

Playing for legendary coach Bill Walsh between 1977-81, Nelson and the Cardinal introduced the "West Coast offense" that would revolutionize the game. Establishing a new vision for the running back position, Nelson was the first college football player to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch at least 50 passes in a single season -- a feat he accomplished three times at Stanford. He finished sixth in the 1981 Heisman Trophy voting and his impact is still reflected in today's game.

His greater impact was on display at Stanford where he garnered Academic All-America honors and was selected as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. Nelson was also a record-breaking star on the track and field team and was inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.

A four-time All-Pac-10 honoree and first team All-American, Nelson rushed for 4,033 yards at Stanford, set an NCAA record with 6,885 career all-purpose yards while scoring 40 touchdowns and catching 214 passes. He graduated in 1981 and would later return to Stanford where he spent 15 years in its administration.

After graduating from Stanford, Nelson went on to a very successful 11-year career in the National Football League. After being drafted seventh overall in the 1982 draft by the Minnesota Vikings, Nelson played nine seasons with the Vikings (1982-89, 1991-92) and two with the San Diego Chargers (1989-90). Nelson, who led the NFL at 4.9 yards per carry in 1987, amassed more than 7,000 yards rushing and receiving with 23 touchdowns before retiring after the 1992 season.

The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame was founded 67 years ago by Grantland Rice, General Douglas MacArthur and Coach Earl "Red" Blaik. Today, the NFF serves as a leading voice and advocate of amateur football.


DRE BLY -- DB, North Carolina (1996-98)

TONY BOSELLI -- OT, Southern California (1991-94)

DAVE BUTZ -- DT, Purdue (1970-72)

SHANE CONLAN -- LB, Penn State (1983-86)

JOE HAMILTON -- QB, Georgia Tech (1996-99)

JOHN HUARD -- LB, Maine (1964-66)

DARRIN NELSON -- HB, Stanford (1977-78, 1980-81)

WILLIE ROAF -- OL, Louisiana Tech (1990-92)

JOHN SCIARRA -- QB, UCLA (1972-75)

STERLING SHARPE -- WR, South Carolina (1983, 1985-87)

LEONARD SMITH -- CB, McNeese State (1979-82)

DERRICK THOMAS (deceased) -- LB, Alabama (1985-88)

LaDAINIAN TOMLINSON -- TB, Texas Christian (1997-00)

WESLEY WALLS -- TE, Mississippi (1985-88)

MIKE BELLOTTI -- 137-80-2 (63%); Chico State (1984-88) and Oregon (1995-08)

JERRY MOORE -- 242-135-2 (64.1%); North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85) and Appalachian State (1989-12)

— Stanford Athletics

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