Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017: LaDainian Tomlinson

By Victoria Barnett


The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been announced, and we find it fitting to get to know each of the newly selected members. The seven heroes of the game to be inducted are as follows: Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner. Last time, we recapped the career of one of the most well-known names in football, Jerry Jones. This week, we’re highlighting running back LaDainian Tomlinson! Read all about his NFL career below.

NFL Career

LaDainian Tomlinson was drafted by the San Diego Chargers as the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. Tomlinson was a standout running back at Texas Christian University, where as a senior he became the second player in college football history to rush 2,000 yards in a season and 5,000 in a career. As a junior, he also set the NCAA single-game rushing record with 406 yards against UTEP. To be expected, Tomlinson was an easy first round choice for the Chargers. 

Tomlinson quickly demonstrated his talent in the NFL when he rushed for 412 yards and six touchdowns in his first four NFL games. His rookie season was overall spectacular as he finished his first season with 1,236 yards and ten touchdowns. This became the first of eight straight seasons that he hit the 1,000-yard mark.

Not only could Tomlinson run the ball, but he also demonstrated his ability as an exceptional receiver. He caught 59 passes during his rookie year and went on to have 50 or more catches in nine of his eleven seasons.

Scoring touchdowns became a regular thing for Tomlinson. From 2001 to 2009, he scored ten or more rushing touchdowns every season with the Chargers. Between 2004 and 2005, he also tied a long-standing NFL record after scoring a touchdown in 18 straight games.

Tomlinson’s success on the field contributed to five AFC West Division titles for the Chargers over a six-season period. He was named NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 when he rushed for a career-best 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns. His 31 total touchdowns and 186 points set a new single-season NFL record.

Following his time with the San Diego Chargers, Tomlinson signed with the New York Jets where he played for two seasons.

This five-time Pro Bowl selection finished his career with 13,684 yards rushing on 3,174 carries and 624 receptions for 4,722 yards and 17 touchdowns. His 145 career rushing touchdowns ranks second in the NFL's record book and his 163 total touchdowns rank third behind Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. Tomlinson was an All-Pro selection four times and All-AFC selection twice and also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Due to his tremendous career and exceptional ability, Tomlinson will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 this August in Canton!

Celebrate with LaDainian Tomlinson

Join us in Canton to celebrate the career and accomplishments of LaDainian Tomlinson as he is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame! With an Official HOF Experiences Ticket Package, you can experience the excitement of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls. Join Hall of Famers at the Enshrinement Ceremony, get access to VIP parties, attend a Class of 2017 autograph session and more!

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