Former Texas A&M All-America linebacker Dat Nguyen is part of a class of 13 players and coaches announced Monday as the newest inductees for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Nguyen starred for Texas A&M from 1995 to 1998 before a seven-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Born in a refugee center at Fort Chaffee, Ark., in 1975, he was the first Vietnamese-American to be drafted and play in the NFL.
He was an assistant coach with the Cowboys for three years (2007-09) and two years with Texas A&M (2010-11).
Since March, Nguyen has been the owner/operator of the Chick fil-A franchise at Montgomery Plaza in Fort Worth. His family, which had worked as shrimpers on the Texas Gulf Coast, began a restaurant business in the 1980s as he grew up in Rockport in South Texas. He was a high school star at Rockport-Fulton.
517 Career tackles for Dat Nguyen in four seasons at Texas A&M, where he was a unanimous first-team All-American in 1998
According to the National Football Foundation, the inductees were selected from the national ballot of 75 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks.
The class will be inducted Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown, the NFF said. They will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions during the fall.
Others in the 2017 class include Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning, Florida coach Steve Spurrier, Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart, San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk and Texas offensive tackle Bob McKay (1968-69).
Also in the class are Clemson coach Danny Ford, Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable, Michigan State wide receiver Kirk Gibson (who went on to star in Major League Baseball), Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson, Boston College nose guard Mike Ruth, New Mexico defensive back Brian Urlacher and Mount Union coach Larry Kehres.