40 for 40: Nebraska Football’s Defining Moments – The 1980s Locker Pass Content

By at June 19, 2012 | 8:45 AM | Print

40 for 40: Nebraska Football’s Defining Moments – The 1980s

1980-1982 – The Toughest Man in College Football

This moment is about an image and attitude, about the most definitive offensive lineman in Nebraska football history. The guy who walked out of the tunnel and made opponents want to head back to the locker room.

That’s Dave Rimington.

Many college football experts believe he was the best center in the history of the game. That’s why the “Rimington Award” to annually honor the nation’s best center exists today.

A product of Omaha South and the Huskers’ revolutionary weight training program, the 6’3″ 290-pound Rimington was lightning quick and strong, that rare center who didn’t just control his man, but mauled him. He insulted opposing defensive tackles on play after play with his physical superiority and knowledge of the game.

He won the Outland Trophy in 1981 and 1982 and the Lombardi Trophy in 1982, as well.

Here is the image, and Husker fans who were around in the day won’t forget it: Rimington emerging from that tunnel on a cold winter day with his sleeves tucked tight his jersey, with nothing but his giant, imposing biceps emerging from his shoulder pads.

A Hercules clad in red, calling out anybody who dared to tussle with him. Whether Rimington did this to intentionally intimidate opponents or not – it worked. He stood for the changing culture at Nebraska, the guys who didn’t put up with Oklahoma’s dominance or shabby performances against Missouri or Iowa State.

Before Turner Gill, Mike Rozier or Irving Fryar, it was Rimington’s imposing figure that announced a “new NU” as Tom Osborne closed out his first decade as head coach.

Fans used to show up early at Memorial Stadium just the see the man in his element. Rimington didn’t even had to play a snap to put on a show. He was the show. That’s rare for a center.

(Visited 509 times, 1 visits today)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Locker Pass Legacy Collection , , , , , , , , , , , ,