Friday, January 7, 2000
By Boog Williams
Over the last 3 months, Ron Dayne broke the NCAA career rushing record on November 13th, won the Heisman Trophy on December 11th, won the MVP (second time) for the Rose Bowl on January 1st, and on January 7th, came home to visit his local schools.
Go back to November 13th: Dayne's record-breaking run was a 31-yard run to the right on first down in the second quarter against Iowa. That carry gave him a career total to 6,288 yards. Dayne rushed for 216 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown in the 41-3 Wisconsin win over Iowa and finished with a career total of 6,397 yards, breaking Texas' Ricky Williams' record of 6,279 yards.
On December 11, Ron Dayne, the NCAA's all-time rushing leader, was selected as the 65th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy as the Outstanding College Football Player of the United States for 1999. Dayne, at 5'10" and 254-pounds, set or tied 2 NCAA records and 42 school records on his way to win the Trophy. He is the 52nd senior and the 38th running back to be selected as the recipient of the award. Ron Dayne rushed for 1,834 yards during his senior year and set the all-time rushing record of 6,397 yards. Dayne tops the Big Ten in career rushing attempts (1,186), rushing touchdowns (70), touchdowns (70) and points (420). Add 728 more yards in Bowl appearances and you get a total of 7,125 yards. If you think of it, it is running from goal line to goal line 71 times and then to the 26. In his speech, Dayne thanked almost everybody, but he had one person left to thank. He ended his speech by thanking the man whom he called his Heisman, "Uncle Rob". Uncle Rob and Ron hugged each other to end his speech. Uncle Rob is Rob Reid, a long time resident of Berlin Township and legal guardian of Ron Dayne, along with his wife Debbie Reid.
On January 1st, at the Rose Bowl, Ron Dayne set another record and helped Wisconsin win its second Rose Bowl in a row, the only Big Ten school to do this. Dayne ran for 200 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown, in the second half, put him in the record books. He has scored the most points in Rose Bowl History (30) and was awarded his second MVP of the Rose Bowl. Dayne is only the third person to win 2 Rose Bowl MVP's. In addition to the Rose Bowl MVP awards, he is also another Bowl MVP, the Copper Bowl. He only had 46 yards rushing in the first half, but turned it around in the second with 154 yards.
For those who don't know, Ron Dayne played football at Overbrook Regional High School in Pine Hill, NJ. During his career at Overbrook, Dayne was a Consensus First Team All American, was chosen to elite squads by USA Today, Parade, Reebok, Prep Football Report, Blue Chip, Schutt Sports Group and SuperPrep, was awarded offensive player of the year in the East, and No. 1 fullback prospect in the nation according to Prep Football Report and SuperPrep. As a senior at Overbrook, he rushed for 1,785 yards (14.9 average) and 24 TD. The top game of his high school career was a 250-yard, four-touchdown beating of rival sister school Edgewood (Uncle Rob's high school). As a junior, he gained 1,566 yards with 27 touchdowns. He won the New Jersey state shotput and discus titles as a junior and senior. He threw the discus 216-10 at the Golden West Invitational as a senior, the third-longest prep throw in history, set a New Jersey state discus record, captured Penn Relays shot put title in 1996, provisionally qualified for the Olympic Trials, and was coached by Mr. Harvey Miller. Coach Miller said that Ron turned the football program into a winner. "Even though we had some good teams, he made us a winner. We had more students come up, which gave us more to pick from, to fill all the holes." Athletic Director at Overbrook during Ron Dayne's tenure, Frank Panhuise, said jokingly that he had to tell Coach Miller to put Ron at running back, not at tackle. All kidding aside, Ron was very big, but was very agile. He could run around you and make the best tacklers miss him, but when he had to...Watch Out baby...He would run you over and you would be looking up at the sky.
The Township of Berlin has erected signs honoring Ron along the roads leading into the Township saying, "Home of Ron Dayne, 1999 Heisman Trophy Winner."
On January 7th, Ron Dayne visited to his old high school, Overbrook, in Pine Hill and also visited some of the local elementary schools in the area. One of the elementary students asked him what he likes to eat and he said "Golden Grahams." He is also on his way to becoming a teen idol, as one young girl got to shake his hand and said, "I am not going to wash my hand ever again."
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