Kevin Faulk was alone in his computer room when his father in law walked in with a box in his hand.
Faulk had no idea what the package was so he opened it and the first thing he saw was "Welcome to the Club" written on a football. It's a moment Faulk thought was another 10-15 years down the road but the former LSU star running back will soon be officially inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Faulk was one of the first high profile recruits to take a chance on an LSU football program that was stuck in a revolving door of mediocrity. During his illustrious four-year career with the Tigers from 1995-98, Faulk rushed for 4,557 yards and 46 touchdowns, both top five all time in the SEC. But most importantly, staying all four years allowed him to get what he considered most important of all, a degree.
Faulk, who grew up in Carencro, Louisiana, a small suburb of Lafayette, never had dreams of being a three time Super Bowl Champion in the NFL, one of the SEC's all time leading rushers or being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. As a young player growing up, his dream was just to make it out.
"That's what you dream for, you don't dream for all of that, you dream to make it out," Faulk said. "To make it understandable that you can get out for younger kids but to accomplish that means a lot. It means all of the hard work, the dedication, it's all going in the right direction."
It's been a trying year from one of the most impactful players this program has ever brought to Baton Rouge. In September of 2021, Faulk's daughter Kevione, a student at LSU and worker on the football team, tragically passed away at the age of 19. Faulk, who spent the last two seasons as LSU's running backs coach, would spend most of the season away from the program to care for his family.
A few weeks after the Tigers' 2021 regular season came to an end, Faulk learned he would not be retained on Brian Kelly's staff moving forward. So getting the news that he would be the next LSU star to get into the Hall of Fame carries extra weight for Faulk and his family.
"Times 20. It's been tough but you gotta have faith and having faith means that nothing happens to you, it happens for you," Faulk said.
The ultimate leader during his time at LSU and later with the New England Patriots for 13 years in the NFL, Faulk has a knowledge of the game that he hopes will lead to more coaching opportunities in the future. But right now he knows the most important place he needs to be is home.
Earning a nod in the College Football Hall of Fame has also showed him just how important his days in college helped mold him not just as a football player but as a man as well.
"I talked to a lot of my LSU teammates and the No. 1 thing I told them was this is for them," Faulk said. "The memories we had, the opportunities to bond as a unit, as friends and be able to still talk about it now is what it's all about."