Two fumbles could have derailed Eddie George.
Instead, the turnovers just became a footnote in a spectacular college career.
Chances are slim the former Ohio State running back will bring up those miscues on Saturday when he is enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame. The former Tennessee Titan is one of 18 players that will be inducted — along with five coaches — in South Bend, Ind. The ceremony is scheduled to be streamed live at 7:20 p.m. on the National Football Foundation’s website, footballfoundation.org.
As a freshman at Ohio State in 1992, he fumbled twice in the fifth game of the season against Illinois with both turnovers leading to touchdowns and helping the Illini pull out an 18-16 victory. The fumbles overshadowed a great freshman start after he had five touchdowns in his first four games. He paid for the mistakes as he finished with just 37 carries that season and had just 42 as the third-string running back in 1993.
But sitting idle motivated him heading into his junior season and he burst back onto the scene with 1,442 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
This served as a glimpse at a record-breaking 1995 season, in which he won the Heisman Trophy after scoring 25 touchdowns and setting Ohio State’s single-season rushing record with 1,927 yards. That season he rushed for 200 yards or more five times, and he topped 100 in 12 straight games.
In 1996, the Houston Oilers drafted the Philadelphia native with the 14th overall pick. He didn’t disappoint, ranking 23rd in NFL history with 10,441 rushing yards over nine seasons. He played in four Pro Bowls, was named to the All-Pro First Team in 2000 and helped the Titans reach Super Bowl XXXIV. George and Jim Brown are the only two 10,000-yard rushers to never miss a start.