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'He Is a True Penn Stater'

LaVar Arrington becomes the latest Nittany Lion inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

LaVar Arrington on Monday officially became the 26th Penn State representative in the College Football Hall of Fame, a few days after overeagerly leaking the news (for which he apologized).

The National Football Foundation announced the 21-member class ahead of Monday's College Football Playoff title game between Alabama and Georgia. It includes Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, quarterback Andrew Luck, defensive back Champ Bailey and coach Gary Pinkel. The group will be enshrined in December.

Arrington is one of Penn State's greatest linebackers, a two-time, first-team All-American who won the Butkus and Bednarik Awards. He is Penn State's first Hall of Fame inductee since quarterback Kerry Collins in 2018.

"First and foremost, I want to give a sincere thank you to my family because without them, I would have come up short," Arrington said in a statement. "My parents, brothers and sister instilled in me a mindset that was built so deep and so strong.

“Next, I want to thank coach Paterno, my coaches and my teammates. They all played a big part in my development. I love coach [Tom] Bradley, a super, awesome confidant and guidance for me. I would also like to thank so many people who played a major role in all of this, including Don Ferrell, Todd Kulka, Mark and Sue Sherburne, Dr. Dave Yukelson, Brad 'Spider' Caldwell, Kirk Diehl, Tim Shope and Tom Venturino.

"To my teammates, if it wasn’t for some of the greatest players ever to play college football, I would not have been the player I was able to be. This is for our whole squad and whole defensive unit. I couldn’t have been what I was without Courtney Brown, Brandon Short, Mac Morrison, Imani Bell, David Fleischhauer, Brad Scioli, Derek Fox, David Macklin, Anthony King, Askari Adams and James Boyd. We were all just trying to be great and it just so happens I'm a representative of the greatness we were trying to achieve."

Arrington maintains deep ties to the program, having served as an honorary captain in 2016 and visiting often. He has a son Penn, who, Arrington said, is named after the university.

Arrington also has been a strong supporter of Penn State coach James Franklin and last year backed the head coach and athletic department in pursuing a $69 million plan to upgrade the football facilities.

"I certainly want to send a much-deserved thank you to Penn State for supporting me," Arrington said. "I also appreciate the support from all the fans. They have always been the greatest fans in the world. The love I feel even to this day is just unmatched."

Added Franklin, "We could not be more excited for LaVar on his election to the College Football Hall of Fame. He is truly one of the all-time greats to ever put on a Penn State uniform. This is a well-deserved honor for an individual who has contributed so much to Penn State as a player, teammate, leader and role model to our organization.

"I have really enjoyed getting to know LaVar since I arrived to Happy Valley and can see why he is one of the most cherished individuals in this community. He is a true Penn Stater, and I would like to congratulate him on this tremendous achievement."

Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington served as an honorary captain for the 2016 game against Michigan State. Arrington will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2022. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)

Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington served as an honorary captain for the 2016 game against Michigan State. Arrington will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2022. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)

Penn State's College Football Hall of Fame Inductees

LaVar Arrington: 2022

Hugo Bedzek: 1954

John Cappelletti: 1993

Kerry Collins: 2018

Shane Conlan: 2014

Keith Dorney: 2005

Rip Engle: 1974

Jack Ham: 1990

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Dick Harlow: 1954

Bob Higgins: 1954

Glenn Killinger: 1971

Ted Kwalick: 2989

Richie Lucas: 1986

Pete Mauthe: 1957

Shorty Miller: 1974

Lydell Mitchell: 2004

Dennis Onkotz: 1995

Joe Paterno: 2007

Mike Reid: 1987

Glenn Ressler: 2001

Dave Robinson: 1967

Steve Suhey: 1985

Dexter Very: 1976

Curt Warner: 2009

Harry Wilson: 1973

Bill Bowes: Inducted as New Hampshire coach in 2016

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