“All American | The Dat Nguyen Story” Debuts on Independence Day

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 4:05 PM CDT
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M Athletics and 12th Man Films tells the inspiring story of Aggie legend Dat Nguyen in a full-length documentary slated to be released, appropriately, on Independence Day next month.

“All American | The Dat Nguyen Story” debuts on the official Texas A&M Athletics website at 12thMan.com/Dat and on the 12th Man TV OTT app available on Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire Stick.

The 12th Man Films original movie revolves around the unbelievable true story of Dat Nguyen’s life – and how he has used his athletic platform to break stereotypes and evoke cultural change. It is a story of adversity, perseverance, and triumph – a living personification of the “American Dream.”

Nguyen’s family fled Vietnam under the cover of darkness during the fall of Saigon with his pregnant mother carrying the unborn Dat, who was born in a refugee camp in Arkansas. The family eventually settled in Texas in the tiny coastal town of Rockport where young Dat found the game of football and became a legend for the Rockport-Fulton High School Pirates, the Texas A&M Aggies and eventually the Dallas Cowboys.

A consensus All-American for Texas A&M in 1998, Nguyen is the only Aggie to win the prestigious Lombardi and Bednarik Awards, and he remains the school’s all-time tackles leader with over 500 takedowns. He led the Aggies in tackles all four seasons of his career. He was inducted in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2017. The first and only player of Vietnamese descent to be selected in the NFL Draft, Nguyen stands No. 15 on the Cowboys all-time tackles list despite playing in just 90 games over his seven-year professional career.

“The goal of 12th Man Films from the outset has been to tell unique Aggie stories,” Andy Richardson, Associate Athletics Director, 12th Man Productions, said. “There is perhaps no greater Aggie story and ultimately American story than that of Dat Nguyen. Many are aware of Dat’s success at Texas A&M as a member of the famed Wrecking Crew defense that led the Aggies to a conference title in 1998, but everyone will learn about the circumstances that helped define and make the man that disproved the doubters, ultimately winning at football and life.  All-American – The Dat Nguyen Story, debuts fittingly on July 4th, showing what is possible when hard work and a servant’s heart embrace the American dream.”

Produced, written, edited and directed by Chris Sabo of 12th Man Films, a division of Texas A&M’s award-winning 12th Man Productions, the 50-plus-minute documentary is the product of hundreds of hours of interviews and research into the legendary life of Nguyen.

“In the history of this storied university, you would be hard-pressed to find a story more inspirational or more deserving to be told than the story of Dat Nguyen,” Sabo said. “It’s a story about overcoming adversity - racial reconciliation - and athletic success. It is quite literally the ‘American Dream.’”

This is the second film from 12th Man Films, after the full-length film “Standing Room Only / The Legend of the 12th Man” debuted in August 2022.