Former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.
The former college standout will now join 12 others from Wisconsin in the College Football Hall of Fame — a list that includes Barry Alvarez, Alan Ameche and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch.
“I’m very excited and thrilled to be mentioned with the greatest names in college football history,” Dayne said to uwbadgers.com. “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 could never have achieved without my teammates and coaches.”
Dayne last played for the Badgers in the 1999 season, a year in which he racked up 2,034 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on his way to only the second Heisman Trophy for a Wisconsin football player and Wisconsin’s second-consecutive Rose Bowl victory.
In addition to his Heisman success, Dayne also collected the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Doak Walker Award, the Chicago Tribune Silver Football and was a consensus first-team All-American.
Dayne currently sits atop the NCAA record books with the most rushing yards in a college career with 6,397 yards in four seasons. He was one of only five players in NCAA history to rush for more than a thousand yards in each of his four collegiate seasons.
“It’s hard for it to sink in exactly what Ron has just achieved, what he’s been named to,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said last May when Dayne’s election to the College Football Hall of Fame was first announced.
“Over 5 million people have played college football. There’s like less than 1 percent that have gone into the Hall of Fame… That gives you the magnitude of the honor.”
Dayne briefly went on to have a NFL career between 2000 and 2007, but was never able to live up to his No. 11 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Over the span of eight years in the league, he would rush for 3,722 yards and 28 touchdowns with the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.
Dayne’s No. 33 jersey was retired at Wisconsin on November 10, 2007 during a Big Ten game against the Michigan Wolverines.