INDIANAPOLIS — Eric Dickerson's long wait is over.
Thirty-eight years after he wrapped up his historic collegiate career at Southern Methodist University, Dickerson, the former great Indianapolis Colts running back, today was announced as one of 17 former All-American players and two coaches selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.
The official induction ceremony will be Dec. 8 during the 63rd National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Dickerson entered the NFL in 1983 as a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams; he would play his first four-plus professional seasons in L.A. before being acquired by the Colts in a historic 10-player trade midway through the 1987 season.
Dickerson would play in parts of five seasons in Indianapolis, finishing with 1,258 rushing attempts for 5,194 yards (4.1 avg.) and 32 touchdowns; he also logged 138 receptions for 1,082 yards and another three scores.
Dickerson, who would wrap up his career with two seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and Atlanta Falcons, was named First-Team All-Pro in two of his seasons in Indy, and earned Pro Bowl honors in three of those five years.
A 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Dickerson was selected to the Colts' Ring of Honor in 2013.
But Dickerson first gained notoriety as an All-American at SMU, where he ran all over opposing defenses from 1979 through 1982. Via the NFF:
The leader of SMU's famed "Pony Express," Eric Dickerson set nearly every school rushing record while launching the Mustangs into national prominence. The Sealy, Texas, native becomes the seventh SMU player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A unanimous First Team All-American in 1982, Dickerson finished third for the Heisman Trophy after guiding SMU to a No. 2 final ranking and an 11-0-1 record. The two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year led the Mustangs to back-to-back conference titles in 1981 and 1982 and a victory over Pittsburgh in the 1983 Cotton Bowl Classic. The game was SMU's first Cotton Bowl appearance since 1966, and it marked its first win in the fabled game since 1949. Dickerson earned Second Team All-America honors in 1981 after helping SMU to a No. 5 final ranking and a 10-1 record.
SMU's all-time leading rusher with 4,450 career yards, Dickerson owns 12 other school records, including single-season rushing yards (1,617 in 1982), career rushing touchdowns (47) and career 100-yard rushing games (28). He is also tied atop the Mustang record books with College Football Hall of Famer Doak Walker with 288 career points. A two-time First Team All-Southwest Conference selection, Dickerson twice led the conference in both rushing and scoring, and he ranks third in SWC history in career rushing yards. He is enshrined in the SMU Athletics, Cotton Bowl, Southwest Conference and State of Texas Sports halls of fame. A co-recipient of the 2010 Doak Walker Legends Award alongside his former Mustangs teammate Craig James, Dickerson had his No. 19 jersey retired by SMU in 2000.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Dickerson was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1983 NFL Draft, playing 11 years with the Rams (1983-87), Indianapolis Colts (1987-91), Los Angeles Raiders (1992) and Atlanta Falcons (1993). A 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, he owns the NFL single-season rushing record (1984) and remains in the top 10 in career rushing yards. A member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Dickerson is recognized in the Colts Ring of Honor and had his jersey retired by the Rams.
Off the field, he established the Eric Dickerson Foundation, which is dedicated to providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth through education. An entrepreneur, Dickerson previously worked as a sideline reporter for "Monday Night Football," and he can currently be seen as an NFL analyst on FOX Sports.
Here's the entire College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020:
- Lomas Brown – OT, Florida (1981-84)
- Keith Byars – RB, Ohio State (1982-85)
- Eric Crouch – QB, Nebraska (1998-2001)
- Eric Dickerson – RB, Southern Methodist (1979-82)
- Glenn Dorsey – DT, LSU (2004-07)
- Jumbo Elliott – OT, Michigan (1984-87)
- Jason Hanson – PK, Washington State (1988-91)
- E.J. Henderson – LB, Maryland (1999-2002)
- E.J. Junior – DE, Alabama (1977-80)
- Steve McNair – QB, Alcorn State (1991-94)
- Cade McNown – QB, UCLA (1995-98)
- Leslie O'Neal – DT, Oklahoma State (1982-85)
- Anthony Poindexter – DB, Virginia (1995-98)
- David Pollack – DE, Georgia (2001-04)
- Bob Stein – DE, Minnesota (1966-68)
- Michael Westbrook – WR, Colorado (1991-94)
- Elmo Wright – WR, Houston (1968-70)
- Dick Sheridan – 121-52-5 (69.4%); Furman (1978-85), North Carolina State (1986-92)
- Andy Talley – 258-155-2 (62.4%); St. Lawrence [NY] (1979-83), Villanova (1985-2016)
This year's class includes one Heisman Trophy winner (Crouch), six unanimous First-Team All-Americans (Byars, Dickerson, Dorsey, Hanson, Junior, O'Neal), eight consensus First-Team All-Americans (Brown, Elliott, Henderson, McNown, Poindexter, Pollack, Westbrook, Wright), seven multi-year First-Team All-Americans ((Dorsey (2), Elliott (2), Hanson (2), Henderson (2), O'Neal (2), Poindexter (2), Pollack (3)) and 10 conference players of the year (Byars, Crouch (2), Dickerson (2), Dorsey, Henderson (2), McNair (4), McNown, O'Neal, Poindexter, Pollack (2).
According to the CFHOF website, just 0.02 percent of college football's players and coaches "can claim the honor of being named into the Hall of Fame."