Former LSU running back Kevin Faulk is receiving the highest honor his only NFL team can give him. And he received it in the way any player would want.
Fans have voted Faulk into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame, a reward recognizing both his commitment and longevity to the team and the three Super Bowls he helped the team win. He becomes the 25th entrant into the team’s Hall and the fifth player selected by the fans in their first year of eligibility.
“Kevin Faulk helped deliver three Super Bowl championships and redefined the way an entire generation of Patriots fans celebrated football in New England,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a press release. “Despite entering the NFL as the second-leading rusher in SEC history, he arrived in New England without ego or pretense. He was a selfless and tireless contributor to the team, accepting every challenge and excelling in many roles throughout his 13-year career. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike.”
It is impressive considering Faulk was largely a role player. He was great in run blocking and catching passes out of the backfield. The Patriots through their championship years never had a particularly strong running game. Faulk was always consistent and always an option.
For his career, he tallied 3,607 rushing yards and 3,701 receiving yards in his 13 seasons with the Patriots — 277.5 rushing yards per year and 284.7 receiving yards per season. Those totals hardly seem like a Hall-of-Fame-caliber skill player. But stats alone do not reflect his impact.
His Hall election is even more impressive considering his career at LSU. From 1995-98, Faulk rushed for 4,557 yards and helped on kickoff and punt returns. He scored 46 rushing touchdowns in his career with the Tigers.
Faulk clearly had a way of connecting to fans, and they certainly seemed to appreciate his contributions to three championship teams and his selflessness not to care about stats and stick with the Patriots for more than a decade.