Eric Weddle is back in Salt Lake City this weekend, honored on Friday with enshrinement into the Utah Athletics Hall of Fame at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

A Freshman All-American in 2003, a part of the Fiesta Bowl team in 2004, a two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-American in 2006, and then an All-Pro safety and Super Bowl champion in the NFL, Weddle’s career was as accomplished as any player could hope for.

When he looks back on the last 20 years, though, he feels an even bigger sense of pride in seeing how far his alma mater has come.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Weddle told reporters when asked about the program’s growth, according to UteZone. “So I’m sitting there, four rows back on the 40-yard-line hanging with some Utah fans and it just hit me. Like, I’m in The Swamp, watching my alma mater play, and 20 years earlier that was never a possibility. You could have never drawn up a script that said Utah’s gonna play on the road in The Swamp. It just wasn’t a reality. And now we’re talking about (nine) months earlier we’re in the Rose Bowl. It’s just so much has happened that you just look and you smile and you’re proud at.

“We had a little hand in it, but these guys have taken it to the next level. I see the boys and I tell Coach Whitt either I’m shrinking or these guys are getting taller or these guys are morphing into these extraterrestrial athletes that are playing on a whole other level than I ever could have. It’s just really, really special to be a part of this program and to try and represent it the right way. Now, it’s nice to have time to be able to come back and support them — not just from afar, but be able to come up and support them at games, be around the boys, and try to just shed some light and help them any way I can.”

Weddle is one of the most beloved former Utes, and the red runs deep in the family. You can hear him above joke that his son would sooner go to a community college than take a scholarship to BYU.

Now retired from the NFL, Weddle has plenty of time to hang around the program a bit more.

Utah is taking on Southern Utah in the home opener for 2022 over on the Pac-12 Network.

You can check out Weddle’s video message from Utah on his Hall of Fame enshrinement below.