"You're only as good as the players around you," those words are often spoken in regards to team sports and team efforts and after finding out he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame those were the first thoughts of honoree Ron Dayne.
"I don't know. I can't stop smiling," said Dayne when asked about the award on Tuesday. "I'm excited and happy, especially for me and my teammates. We worked on it. We worked on it as a team."
"All the stuff that I'm getting, the stuff that I got, it was from teamwork. It's just great to be able to come back and still get awards."
Dayne, who rushed for over 7,100 yards (including bowl game performances, which weren't counted by the NCAA at the time), has been racking up the awards as of late. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame before the 2012 game and now adds this to his already stellar resume in college football history.
According to Barry Alvarez, Dayne's head coach and Hall of Fame selection committee member, there wasn't a more deserving player on the list.
"I'm very proud of Ron's accomplishments," Alvarez told the gathered media members. "I happened to be on that Selection Committee, saw all the people. If you see the other nominees, you realize there were at least three other Heisman Trophy winners on that ballot."
"No one is more deserving than Ron. I said that in that meeting. To have rushed more than anyone in the history of college football. He's minus 800 yards they didn't count for bowl games. He's very deserving. It's an honor for me to have coached him. I'm thrilled for him."
As for having this honor sink in Dayne made it clear that it hasn't, after all, he did just find out the news this morning. But, according to Barry it will sink in quickly when he gets to New York for the banquet in December.
"It's hard for it to sink in exactly what Ron has just achieved, what he's been named to," said Alvarez. "I don't think it really sinks in until you show up in New York in December and see the magnitude of the celebration, of the induction, and you see the other people who are inducted with you, their credentials. Then the former players. Then I think it sinks in how big a deal this is."
Dayne is a member of a group that represents less than .02 percent of all college football players and coaches to have ever played the game, just to put it into prospective and give you an idea of just how select a group he belongs to.
He's perhaps best know for holding the career record for rushing yards (officially 6,397 yards), but don't expect Dayne to be rooting against anyone that may challenge his record one day.
"Maybe if they get a coach like Coach Alvy that is going to let you carry the ball, handle as much as you can handle," Dayne said. "Like coach said, a lot of teams are still running the ball. Hopefully a guy has an opportunity, now that they count the bowl games for the guys, can go and pass the ball off or something."
Dayne set the pace for what's taken place at Wisconsin over the past decade plus and perhaps the guy to break his record may just be donning the red and white of the Badgers as we speak. That's the beauty of college football, you never know who's going to jump out of nowhere and become the greatest of all-time.