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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Former A&M football star, Dat Nguyen, on Hall of Fame ballot

Dat+Nguyen
Courtesy
Dat Nguyen

Some time ago, before some current A&M students were even born, Texas A&M had one of the scariest defenses in all of college football. In fact, the defenses of A&M were so dominating, the term “the Wrecking Crew” was coined during the 1980s and 1990s.

One of the central pieces of the “wrecking crew” was Dat Nguyen, the starting middle linebacker for A&M from 1995-1998. Now, in 2015, he is a candidate for the College Football Hall of Fame.

In the 90’s, he was the enforcer of the Aggie defense. In 1998, he was named the Chuck Bednarik Award winner, given yearly to the best defensive player in college football, and also earned the Lombardi award, given to the best linebacker in college football. He was also named an All-American and was named to the All-Big 12 first team in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Nguyen finished his career at A&M holding multiple records. Nguyen started in 51 consecutive games for A&M. He is the career leader in tackles for A&M with 517, and is also the only Aggie to lead the team in tackles in four consecutive years. He is also part of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas A&M Hall of Fame, and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

In 1999, he was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys. He led the Cowboys in tackles in 2000, and he officially retired from playing football in 2006 because of knee and neck injuries.

After his playing career, he joined the Dallas Cowboys staff as an assistant coach from 2007-2009. He then moved to Texas A&M and coached on Mike Sherman’s staff from 2010-2011, leaving A&M before the 2012 season. While at A&M, he made his mark in a coaching aspect, as he helped cement Von Miller as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play at Texas A&M. Nguyen lead Miller to earning the Butkus award in 2010, and to being drafted second overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2011 draft.
Now, Nguyen hosts a radio talk show in San Antonio, Texas. One of the greatest linebackers in the storied history of Aggie football might get the highest honor of his career: the College Football Hall of Fame.

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