It’s no secret that LaDainian Tomlinson enjoyed his time at TCU.
He made that perfectly clear during his acceptance speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction Saturday night in Canton, Ohio.
“To TCU fans, San Diego fans. Thank you for your love and support,” Tomlinson said as the crowd chanted LT!, LT!, LT!. “Jets fans and all fans. Your cheers inspired me to always dig deeper and run harder. At the same time you inspired me, I hope I inspired you.”
Tomlinson was a four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler. He rushed for 13,684 career yards on 3,174 carries and scored 145 rushing touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons, nine with the San Diego Chargers and two with the New York Jets. He was a first-ballot selection.
Before joining the NFL, Tomlinson was a Heisman finalist at TCU and an All-American. He was selected fifth overall by the Chargers in the 2001 NFL Draft.
“At TCU, I began as an 18-year teenager and left a young man,” Tomlinson said. “What made TCU so special is that it provided academic rigor with combined christian values and family values. “
Tomlinson invited his former TCU teammates to stand. He also said if it wasn’t for TCU, he wouldn’t have met his wife, LaTorsha. They have been married 17 years.
He also acknowledged his former coaches, Dennis Franchione and Gary Patterson.
He also gave a stirring revelation on his family’s heritage, race relations in America and social change, which drew two standing ovations.
“I’m being inducted into the Hall of Fame because my athletic ability created an opportunity for me to excel in a sport I love,” said Tomlinson. “When we open the door for others to compete, we fulfill the promise of one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.”
His speech ended with chants of “LT!, LT!, LT!”