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Darrin Nelson

Running Back

Darrin Milo Nelson

Inducted 2014

Date of Birth



Los Angeles, CA


Stanford University (1977-1981)


Stanford running back Darrin Nelson was the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch more than 50 passes in one season. He gained over 1,000 yards as freshman, and was named to the All-Conference team-an honor he received all four of his college years. He was named a second-team All-America as a sophomore. A hamstring injury caused him to miss the 1979 season, but he returned in 1980 and 1981 with his third and fourth 1,000 yard seasons. Nelson was a consensus All-America as a senior placing sixth in the Heisman vote. The Academic All-America was also a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete. Darrin ended his career as Stanford’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,033), receptions (214), scoring (242), and touchdowns (40. He finished his career as the NCAA leader for all-purpose yards, which remains a school record at 6,885. Selected in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, Nelson played 11 seasons with the Vikings and San Diego Chargers. In retirement from the NFL, he became a collegiate athletic administrator.


Height 5'9"

Weight 180

Career Highlights

  • 1981 Academic All-America
  • 1981 All-Conference
  • 1981 Consensus All-America
  • 1981 Heisman-sixth
  • 1981 NFF Scholar-Athlete
  • 1980 All-Conference
  • 1980 Third-team All-America
  • 1978 All-Conference
  • 1978 Second-team All-America
  • 1977 All-Conference
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