John Randle Hall of Fame speech

August, 7, 2010
8/07/10
9:46
PM ET
Wow. Well, it's too late, they can't take it back now. I'm here; I'm in.

First of all, I want to thank John Teerlinck for presenting me, motivating me, focusing me on the game that I love. I also want to say, John, thank you for saying I could excel and play in the National Football League, even though I wasn't drafted, didn't play for a major school. Also thank you for showing me what sometimes I didn't see in myself.

Also I want to thank my hometown, Mumford, Texas, population 150. I also want to thank Herron, Texas, where I went to high school. Also I'd like to thank Keith Waters, who many of you may not know. Keith coached me at Trinity Valley Community College. He also convinced me to continue with my dream of playing football when I was uncertain about college and my future. He also encouraged me to go to Texas A&I with a rich winning tradition. Thank you also for all my college teammates at Texas A&I. Thank you, guys.

[+] EnlargeJohn Randle
Jason Miller/US Presswire"I am so humbled by this incredible honor which I never thought was possible," said John Randle, left. "I'm a smalltown kid whose dream came true."
Next I'd like to thank the Minnesota Vikings, a team that believed in me, gave me a chance to play defensive line when most teams thought I was undersized and I wasn't going to make the team.

Also a lot of credit goes to my teammates at the Vikings and also the Seattle Seahawks, and especially my teammates when I first got in the league, such guys at Henry Thomas, Chris Doleman, and Randall McDaniel. Thank you, guys, for taking me under your wing and showing me the way.

I'd also like to thank Jerry Burns, Denny Green for seeing something in me and also believing that I could make the team.

I also want to thank Dennis Ryan, the head equipment guy from the Minnesota Vikings for finding a shoulder pad that would fit this small body (laughter). I'd also like to thank the fans for those days when I thought I had given my all and had nothing left to give. You may not believe this, but those days when I believed that I couldn't go on, I didn't have the strength to continue, you gave me the strength to play hard, practice hard, and to go out there and play a hundred percent on every play.

I also would like to thank my two big brothers Dennis and Ervin Randle. Thank you for letting me follow you around Mumford, Texas, when we were growing up. I'd also like to thank my mom, who is no longer here. She raised three boys by herself with very little money. Thank you, mom. I love you.

I'd also like to thank my loving family, my wife Candace, she is my strength and best friend, and my kids who are my pride and joy. I also want to thank my whole family in Texas and a new one in Minnesota for being on this journey with me and also for helping me believe in myself and continue after football.

I also am so humbled by this incredible honor which I never thought was possible. Thank you to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, everyone who played a part in electing me for making this small-town kid's dream come true.

Thank you.

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