Eagles legend Brian Westbrook to enter College Football Hall of Fame: Remembering his Villanova career

Brian Westbrook was both an Eagles and Villanova legend. With his College Football Hall of Fame induction approaching, we reminisce about his Wildcats career.
NCAA Basketball - Connecticut vs Villanova - February 13, 2006
NCAA Basketball - Connecticut vs Villanova - February 13, 2006 / Drew Hallowell/GettyImages

Before lighting it up with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2000s, Brian Westbrook was a bona fide stud at Villanova University. It has been a long time since he suited up for the Wildcats, but no one who watched him play has forgotten how good he was.

Westbrook enjoyed a very successful run with the Eagles, but he never forgot where he came from. Now, he's being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2023. He's the first Villanova star to be immortalized.

The Class of 2023 features A-listers like Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, and Luke Kuechly. Westbrook will also be joining several former Eagles like Jeremy Maclin, Troy Vincent, and Tim Tebow (that is if you count Tebow's preseason stint with Philly back in 2015 as sufficient reason to earn him a mention).

Here's more on Eagles legend Brian Westbrook's induction and CFB Hall of Fame career.

This year's CFB HOF induction ceremony will be held at the 65th National Football Foundation (NFF) Awards Dinner on December 5th, 2023. The ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas serves as the location. Westbrook was also inducted into the Villanova's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.

The five-foot-eight, 203-pound running back joined the Villanova Wildcats in 1997 and played there until he declared for the NFL Draft in 2001.

During his time at the NCAA level, he briefly shared the field with Brian Finneran. The latter was one of Michael Vick's favorite targets during his run with the Atlanta Falcons.

Under Hall of Fame head coach Andy Talley, Westbrook became a great dual-threat running back. At a school known for basketball, Brian showed up and showed off on the football field.

In 1998, he became the first NCAA player in history to gain 1,000 rushing yards and receiving yards in a season. He was a game-changer at Nova. But his 2001 season is what made him a legend.

That season, Westbrook won the Walter Payton Award, the most prestigious award an FCS player can win. He led the Wildcats to an 8-3 record and the Atlantic-10 Conference title.

Versus Hofstra, Westbrook carved up their defense for 287 yards and five touchdowns as the Wildcats won by a score of 54-34. That same season versus James Madison, he was a battering ram, gaining 405 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. Once the season wrapped, he left college football behind for the greener pastures of the NFL.

Westbrook gained 9,512 all-purpose yards at Villanova, the most all-time by a single player in NCAA history according to his website. In 46 dominant appearances, he scored 84 touchdowns, rushed for 4,298 yards, and gained 2,582 receiving yards. He also notched 2,289 total return yards. He basically holds every major Villanova rushing record and five NCAA records.

There's no question Westbrook is the best Villanova running back in the program history. But he's also considered one of the greatest FCS players of all time.

Playing outside of a Power Five conference made Westbrook's talent the 2002 NFL Draft's biggest secret. That is until Eagles head coach Andy Reid discovered him.
Big Red always does his homework when it comes to scouting,

Reid's Eagles ended up drafting the Villanova product in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Let's just say the Eagles made the right move.

He's a member of Philly's 75th anniversary team. He's their returner. He was also inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2015.