Troy Davis received a call from a reporter earlier this year.
“Troy, you know that you’ve been inducted into the Hall of Fame?” The reporter asked him.
“Oh, when do the ballots come out?” Davis asked him, confused.
“No, Troy. You’re in there,” the reporter clarified.
It was at that point Troy understood. He dropped the phone and looked up to the sky.
“Thank God,” he said. “I finally made it.”
Troy is one of 14 former players and two coaches who were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year, and his induction is well deserved.
Troy attended Iowa State from 1993-1996. He set numerous records at Iowa State, and was a two-time consensus All-American in 1995 and 1996. He was even the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy ballot in 1996.
He also is the only Division I player in NCAA history to run for more than 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
“A hundred years go by and nobody ever did what Troy did,” said former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney, who was back in Ames for his own induction into the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame. “Now another 20 years go by and nobody’s ever done it, 2,000 yards two years in a row."
Troy is back in Ames over the past two weeks. He and his brother Darren, who also was an Iowa State running back, arrived ahead of the Cyclones’ game against San Jose State.
“It’s beautiful,” Troy said. “Dan McCarney deserved every award he’s getting. And for him to be inducted into the hall of fame, that’s something he’s [deserved] ever since he got here in 1995 until he left in 2006, so he deserved every moment of it.”
And his appearance back in Ames didn’t go unnoticed.
While attending the San Jose State game, both Troy and Darren had quite the crowd surrounding them when walking through the tailgate lots before the game.
“Everybody recognized me,” Troy said. “Once me and Darren started signing autographs and taking pictures, it seemed like the whole stadium came toward us to take pictures and sign autographs.”
Both Troy and Darren stuck around for this week’s game against Baylor, where Troy will be honored for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
And during the brothers' time in Ames, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said their impact on the current team has been tremendous.
"When you talk about a great football program and trying to build a program that stands for the right thing, it’s great to have former players, especially somebody like those two, that are back [around] the program,” Campbell said. “Here’s a guy that’s going in the College Football Hall of Fame and for a collegiate student-athlete, [that’s] as big an honor as you possibly can get.
“It’s been great to have them around and to have them around our players and our facilities. I just hope they keep coming around, because it’s great to have them around our team.”
Troy hasn’t been able to keep up with much Iowa State football this season. Living in Miami, the Cyclones aren’t on television much in his area.
However, getting to watch the Cyclones and running back Mike Warren — who ran for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Spartans — he was impressed with what he saw.
“It was my first time seeing him in action, and the way that he played Saturday, he deserves hands up right now,” Troy said.
Troy deserves "hands up" too.
While he narrowly missed winning the Heisman Trophy back in 1996 — something he said was sure was coming back with him to Ames — it doesn’t matter.
His legacy now lives on in the highest place possible for a college football player.
“I’m glad I made the Hall of Fame now,” Davis said.
“It’s a blessing. It’s one of my goals and one of my dreams to get in to the Hall of Fame, and I did it.”