L.T. Runs To Canton

Every August, we see a ceremony in Canton, Ohio where legendary football players are enshrined into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame or as the legend Cris Carter called it when he was inducted into the hall in 2013, “football heaven”. Last year, we saw Brett Favre get it as he was the headliner for the class of 2016. This year, the headliner is LaDainian Tomlinson for the class of 2017 as he made the hall in his first year of eligibility and this is very much deserved.

I remember his playing days just like it was yesterday. He was considered to be the best running back during his college days at TCU and he was selected by the then San Diego Chargers with the fifth overall pick in 2001. He was the guy that you simply built your offense around and he could impact the game out the backfield as a runner or as a receiver. Tomlinson was as versatile of a running back as they came. You knew what you’d get from him when he ran the ball. He had great breakaway speed, a nice stiff arm, he could burst into the open field and turn on that second level of speed and no matter where the football was placed on the field, he was still a threat to take it to the end zone for six points. He could also catch it out the backfield and was just as effective as a receiving back as he was a running back and to add on to his game, he could even throw a touchdown pass as well. He was the most versatile running back I saw play since the days of Marshall Faulk. In 2006, he had the best year of his career and was awarded the league’s MVP and helped lead the Chargers to a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC. He set a record by scoring 14 touchdowns within a span of four games, scored three touchdowns in three straight games and then a week later became the first player to score three touchdowns in four straight games. He also became the second player since Marshall Faulk to have three games of four or more touchdowns in one season. That season, he accounted for 31 total touchdowns (28 rushing and three receiving). That was one of the best seasons I’ve seen from a running back.

Despite the dominance and greatness on the field, he was just as great off of it. He was always a true professional off the field and never showboated as so many football players do today. He played the game the right way and was very well respected by his peers around the league. LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the best running backs I’ve ever seen play the game and being inducted into the hall is no shocker at all.