BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Arkansas All-American and NFL star Dan Hampton has been named to the 2017 Southeastern Conference Football Legends class, the SEC office announced Tuesday.
The 2017 Football Legends Class includes 14 former stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions. This year’s class includes All-Americans, All-SEC selections and Academic All-Americans. The group represents teams that won National and SEC Championships and are represented in state, school and college football halls of fame.
The class will be honored at the 2017 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Dec. 1-2 in Atlanta. The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held Fri., Dec. 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sat., Dec. 2.
Hampton was a four-year letterwinner at defensive tackle for the Razorbacks (1975-78). He played two seasons for Coach Frank Broyles (1975-76) and finished his career playing for Coach Lou Holtz (1977-78). Arkansas sported a 35-10-2 record during Hampton’s career, including a mark of 22-8-1 in Southwest Conference (SWC) play.
Hampton totaled 239 tackles (126 unassisted tackles) in his career with 32 being behind the line of scrimmage while recovering six fumbles. He was an AFCA First-Team All-American in 1978 and helped Arkansas to finish third nationally after winning the 1978 Orange Bowl. As a senior, he logged 98 tackles, including 18 behind the line of scrimmage. He was named the SWC Defensive Player of the Year and earned first-team All-SWC honors in 1978. He also earned the outstanding SWC Player of the Year award from the Houston Post for his senior season. Hampton was named second-team All-SWC in his junior season (1977). As a freshman, Hampton helped the Razorbacks to a share of the SWC title and a victory over Georgia in the 1976 Cotton Bowl.
Hampton was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the fourth pick of the first round in the 1979 NFL Draft. He played 12 seasons for Chicago, becoming one of only two Bears’ players to play in three decades for the team. He started 152 of his 157 career games with the Bears and finished third on the team’s all-time career sacks list with 82. Despite overcoming 10 knee surgeries during his career, Hampton earned All-Pro honors five times and four trips to the Pro Bowl, twice as a defensive tackle and twice as a defensive end. Four other times, he was an alternate for the Pro Bowl. He also earned All-Madden team honors five times.
He was the starting defensive end for the famed Chicago Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl Champions and was part of a unit that allowed only 198 points all season long, including shutouts of both teams in the NFC playoffs.
Hampton was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade team and in 2002 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a member of the University of Arkansas’ All-Century team (selected in 1994) and the Arkansas All-Decade team for the 1970s. He is a member of both the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.