By: Jake Mackey
It was announced Wednesday morning that the latest inductee to the Patriots Hall Of Fame would be former running back Kevin Faulk. Faulk won via fan vote beating out the likes of linebacker Mike Vrabel and cornerback Raymond Clayborn. Faulk will be inducted into the hall during a ceremony in front of the stadium on August 1st. The event is typically held right before the team has their in-stadium training camp practice.
Kevin Faulk was drafted in the second round (46th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State, by then Patriots head coach Pete Carroll. Faulk spent his entire 13-year professional career in Foxborough. Faulk never cracked 1000-yards rushing in a single season and will never be thought of as a prototypical running back. However, Faulk defined what it meant to be the, “third-down back” in New England.
Faulk averaged about 38 receptions per year when he was fully healthy. Faulk is the Patriots franchise leader in all-time purpose yards with 12,349, and kickoff return yards with 5,041 yards. He is in the category of Ladian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Tiki Barber, Marshall Faulk, and Michael Pittman when it comes to players in the 2000’s to have 3000 receiving and rushing yards.
Robert Kraft made a statement to Patriots.com on Wednesday regarding Faulk, “For all his contributions and memorable moments on the field, some of my fondest memories were of Kevin’s contributions off the field. He earned our Ron Burton Community Service award in 2009 and often involved his family in his volunteer work, teaching his children the values of giving back.”
Kraft went on to say, “Kevin Faulk helped deliver three Super Bowl championships and redefined the way an entire generation of Patriots fans celebrated football in New England. Despite entering the NFL as the second-leading rusher in SEC history, he arrived in New England without ego or pretense. He was a selfless and tireless contributor to the team, accepting every challenge and excelling in many roles throughout his 13-year career. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike.”
It is certainly hard to imagine that Faulk’s reputation amongst the fans did not sky rocket after last months draft when he came out to announce to Patriots third round pick while wearing a Tom Brady jersey. Smart move Kevin, always coming through in the clutch. That is just a microcosm of why he is deserving of a spot in the Patriots Hall of Fame, because throughout his career he always came through when it mattered the most.