STATE COLLEGE — Penn State legend LaVar Arrington added another significant honor to his resume Monday when he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
During his career at Penn State, Arrington was one of the nation’s top players as a two-time All-American, including a consensus selection in 1999; the Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker in 1999; and the Bednarik Award winner as the nation’s top defensive player in 1999.
In 1999, Arrington was also a finalist for a couple other national awards, and he finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was also a two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection, and he was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 1998. He finished his career with 173 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 19 sacks and three interceptions.
Arrington can now add College Football Hall of Famer to that list of accomplishments. After the announcement, Arrington released a lengthy statement through Penn State that you can read below:
First and foremost, I want to give a sincere thank you to my family because without them, I would have come up short. My parents, brothers and sister instilled in me a mindset that was built so deep and so strong.
Next, I want to thank Coach Paterno, my coaches and my teammates. They all played a big part in my development. I love Coach Bradley, a super, awesome confidant and guidance for me. I would also like to thank so many people who played a major role in all of this, including Don Ferrell, Todd Kulka, Mark and Sue Sherburne, Dr. Dave Yukelson, Brad “Spider” Caldwell, Kirk Diehl, Tim Shope and Tom Venturino.
To my teammates, if it wasn’t for some of the greatest players ever to play college football, I would not have been the player I was able to be. This is for our whole squad and whole defensive unit. I couldn’t have been what I was without Courtney Brown, Brandon Short, Mac Morrison, Imani Bell, David Fleischhauer, Brad Scioli, Derek Fox, David Macklin, Anthony King, Askari Adams and James Boyd. We were all just trying to be great and it just so happens I’m a representative of the greatness we were trying to achieve.
A big thank you to my wife, Trishia, and to my kids, Keeno, Marlee, LaVar, Laila and Penn, who is named after Penn State. Hopefully one day Keeno and little LaVar will be playing football and continuing the legacy at Penn State. I am super proud of my family. I know being a Hall of Famer has a lot to do with what you do off the field, as much as you do on the field and after your career. I would not be able to be the figure, the mentor, the businessperson and the father I am without the support and love of my entire family.
I certainly want to send a much deserved thank you to Penn State for supporting me. I also appreciate the support from all the fans. They have always been the greatest fans in the world. The love I feel even to this day is just unmatched.
Lastly, I want to give a thank you to the National Football Foundation for letting me enter into the golden gates of football, college football immortality.
Arrington will be inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 6, 2022 at the 64th National Football Foundation (NFF) Annual Awards Dinner.
Arrington was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft and played seven seasons for the Washington Football Team and New York Giants. He made three Pro Bowls in his NFL career.