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  1. 2010 May 26

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 4

    22,364 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 4 Defensive End Grant Wistrom (1994-1997)

    One of the great, consummate winners and leaders in Husker history, Wistrom’s impact was immediate from the time he stepped on campus. Though he didn’t start as a freshman, he was an intergral part of NU’s first national title in more than 20 years with 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He didn’t miss a start in 1995, 1996 or 1997, and lost only two games in his career. He won the 1997 Lombardi Trophy despite teams game-planning to stop his relentless edge pass rush. He’s now in the College Football Hall of Fame, and his career numbers - 206 tackles, 58.5 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks - are amazing for a guy who had to share those stats with one incredible defensive teammate after another.

    Wistrom’s best attribute? His motor. He simply never stopped. He could crash and collapse a pocket, sometimes on the same play. He was also a two-time Academic All-American. There just isn’t a lot Wistrom didn’t do in his time on campus. He maximized every ounce of his talent, and found a little in reserve. He has three Sears Trophies to show for it.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6, No. 5

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, grant wistrom

  2. 2011 Sep 16

    Black Helmets? Oh My!

    21,650 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    The coveted gloves that have been on the lips of many a Husker fan since they were introduced this past summer have arrived, but something else of note can be found in this picture:



    ...a black helmet?!

    Tags: equipment, black helmet

  3. 2010 May 28

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 2

    21,373 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 2 Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (2005-2009)

    Say, you know this guy, right? We’re not going to belabor the existence of Suh on this list after we’ve written thousands of words about him in the last two years. The numbers - 215 tackles, 57 tackles for loss, 24 sacks, 15 pass breakups, 4 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns - speak for themselves. The awards - Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland, Bednarik - do, too. The standout plays. The performance vs. Texas in the Big 12 Championship. His mere presence, which opened up Jared Crick and Ty Steinkuhler, in different years, for monster seasons.

    The ink isn’t dry on Suh’s career at NU. But you know he’s worthy of No. 2 on our list. We know it. Nebraska football knows it. Suuuuuuuuuh!

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6, No. 5, No. 4, No. 3

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, ndamukong suh

  4. 2010 May 25

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 5

    21,276 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 5 Quarterback Eric Crouch (1998-2001)

    Fast, lightning-quick and tougher than a two-dollar steak, Crouch was the improbable - but well-deserving - Heisman Trophy winner in 2001, the only true option quarterback to win the award. He was among the last of his kind, the wizards who lived on the edge of the field, deciding to pitch or keep, and he became a solid passer by the end of his career, as well. His career numbers - 4,481 yards passing, 3434 yards rushing, 88 touchdowns - speak for themselves. So do the Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien Awards.

    And so do the signature plays. Running over an Iowa defender in 1999. Taking a screen pass from Bobby Newcombe -who earned a dubious victory over Crouch for the starting job in 1999 for all of two games - to the house for a touchdown. The overtime touchdown at Notre Dame. The 95-yard run vs. Missouri. And, of course, the memorable throwback pass that beat Oklahoma in 2001. Had he been allowed to return punts, there’s little doubt he might have challenged Johnny Rodgers for the Huskers’ best ever at that role.

    As a runner, there wasn’t much Crouch couldn’t do. His 6-foot frame allowed to stay low to the ground, and his speed took opponents off guard. He was especially good cutting back into the middle of the field when most option quarterbacks preferred to, as it were, “hit the corner.” Crouch won his share of big games - including a Big 12 title in 1999 - but he was never able to capture a national title. Perhaps then-coach Frank Solich put too much of the offense on Crouch’s soldiers. We know this: Once No. 7 left the building, his replacement, Jammal Lord, rushed for a lot of yards - but he just wasn’t the same kind of player. Crouch was a threat to hit a home run every time he carried the ball.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, eric crouch

  5. 2011 May 29

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Cody Green's Departure Speaks Volumes

    20,181 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    This past week hasn’t been a kind one for Nebraska’s quarterback depth. As ESPN’s Joe Schad tweeted on Saturday, Cody Green is seeking his release from the Cornhuskers’ program and is looking to go elsewhere. Kody Spano announced his retirement from competition earlier in the week via Twitter. While Green’s departure doesn’t help Nebraska in terms of bodies at the position, could it be a telltale sign of what’s happening amongst the signal-callers?

    Taylor Martinez will get every opportunity to hang onto the starting role this fall, but he’s going to have to fend off competition from several potential usurpers. Brion Carnes’ name has been on everyone’s lips following his impressive performance last spring. Ron Kellogg also performed well and highly-touted recruit Bubba Starling will be in Lincoln come the second session of summer classes.

    Assuming Starling remained on campus following the 2011 MLB Draft, Green would’ve been competing against four other very capable albeit young quarterbacks for playing time. Due to Green’s size, some fans speculated on a potential move to tight end early in his career when he struggled. He seems determined to remain a quarterback, however. His request for a release indicates that the chances of him getting much playing time in Tim Beck’s new offense were slim.

    Where will Cody go? It’s probable that Green finds himself back in his home state of Texas as playing in the Big 12 afforded him the luxury of being close to family at least a couple of times per year. With the move to the Big Ten, obviously those options were cut significantly. If Green is looking to play right away, a drop to the FCS would be ideal.



    Texas State and UT-San Antonio are two interesting options due to the schools joining the WAC following Boise State’s departure. If Green wanted the opportunity to sit out a year to hone his craft, a transfer to North Texas or Rice would be right up his alley.

    Regardless of where he goes, Nebraska is now faced with the task of not only working with a very young batch of quarterbacks, but the necessity to snag at least one in the current recruiting cycle just went through the roof. Offers have been extended to four currently eligible prospects including two very highly-recruited ones: Petal, Mississippi’s Anthony Alford and Hueytown, Alabama’s Jameis Winston.

    Should Bubba stay in Lincoln then this situation becomes more managable. If the season began today, Martinez and Carnes would likely split time with the first string. Kellogg and Starling would probably split time with the second unit.

    Bottom line: Nebraska’s quarterback situation isn't great, but the problem can be tackled. While no team wants to go into the season with unproven guys under center in a brand new offense, the Cornhuskers’ non-conference schedule is light and much of the Big Ten is either rebuilding or in shambles (See: Ohio State, The or Iowa). Talent may also be able to help mask some inexperience. Luck has always been part of the equation when it comes to success in college football. Big Red quarterbacks may want to grab a large handful out of the old horseshoe on their way out of the tunnel this fall.

    Tags: cody green

  6. 2011 Sep 24

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Mixing Black Into the Huskers' Uniforms

    20,069 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    The fine folks over at Lincoln's 93.7 FM "The Ticket" put together some renderings of what the Huskers could trot out implementing the color black. Here's what they came up with:













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    Tags: black husker uniforms, black husker helmets

  7. 2010 May 30

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 1

    19,302 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 1 Quarterback Tommie Frazier (1992-1995)

    When he arrived on campus, NU hadn’t beaten a top ten team in three seasons, and serious questions as to whether option football - and thus Nebraska football - was any longer viable had begun to crop up. Even Bill McCartney at Colorado had made the switch to a more wide open, passing offense. Oklahoma had Cale Gundy. The nation’s best teams in 1991 - Miami and Washington - had both thrashed the Huskers thoroughly with a combination of dominant defenses and speedy, multiple offenses.

    While Charlie McBride went to work on the Blackshirts, Tom Osborne landed the most significant recruit of his time at Nebraska. The one who delivered T.O. his first two national titles and served as general to what many consider the greatest college football team in history.

    Touchdown Tommie Frazier.

    He was immediately capable when he stepped on campus, and started midway through his freshman season, leading the Cornhuskers to lopsided wins over top-ten-ranked Colorado and Kansas. He suffered hiccups in 1992 - a loss at Iowa State was one of them - but he showed a rare confidence and physicality as a runner that many option quarterbacks, undersized as they often were, didn’t possess.

    In 1993, he blossomed into a complete player, throwing for 1,159 yards and rushing for 704, accounting for 21 total touchdowns. NU slugged out many close wins that year, but couldn’t close its hands on a national title, losing 18-16 to Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl. Frazier did what he could in that loss, and it’s notable that, on NU’s final three offensive plays - when a touchdown might have sealed FSU’s fate - Osborne never gave Frazier the run/pass option he so excelled at. It was a mistake that, at a crucial time one year later, Osborne wouldn’t repeat.

    To 1994, where it appeared Frazier was headed for a Heisman Trophy campaign until he sent to a hospital bed with blood clots. He watched as Brook Berringer - and at times Matt Turman - delivered the Huskers to an undefeated regular season. Frazier was healthy enough to start the 1995 Orange Bowl. He didn’t initially play well vs. Miami. But he came off the bench, with the Huskers trailing 17-9, and delivered the two of the most memorable drives in Husker history. Although Frazier scored neither touchbdown - those belonged to Cory Schlesinger - he completed a key two-point conversion pass to tight end Eric Alford. Frazier made the play he wasn’t allowed to make the season before and Turner Gill did not make in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

    In 1995, Frazier was unstoppable and brilliant, amassing almost 2,000 total yards - not counting the bowl game, which is counted in all stats today - while leading what some Husker fans consider the best offense in team history. While a hailstorm of bad media swarmed NU in that season, Frazier was the stalwart - steady, confident, tough. Not necessarily liked by all of his teammates, Frazier unquestionably had their respect, and it was always about where Tommie was going - not where he’d been.

    He finished second in the Heisman, but the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He saved his best performance - and best play - for last, rushing for 199 yards in a 62-24 romp over Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, which included a 75-yard run where Frazier broke free of a gang of Gators on his way to the end zone.

    Sometimes it goes beyond numbers. Frazier had fine stats, but Jammal Lord and Crouch broke all of his season and career rushing records, while Zac Taylor and Joe Ganz now own most of the passing records. Frazier is not likely to ever be eclipsed as a winner, however. In his entire career, he lost just three starts. Bravo to that.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6, No. 5, No. 4, No. 3, No. 2

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, tommie frazier

  8. 2010 May 24

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 6

    18,532 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 6 Center Dave Rimington (1980-1982)

    The arms. When Rimington ran onto the field on a cold November afternoon without any sleeves, those massive arms popping out from his 6-foot-3, 290-pound frame screamed: Just try and stop us. Opposing defenses rarely did in those years. So good as a center that he had a trophy named after him, Rimington won two Outland trophies in 1981 and 1982 and, for good measure, the Lombardi Trophy in 1982, as well. Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997, Rimington is the college standard against which most centers are now measured.

    He was so quick. Too quick, at times, as he was sometimes flagged for false start penalties despite hiking the ball. Rimington pounced on his foes so quickly throughout his career that he was often able to chip off and help another lineman. The man was built to block for an option running game, but his seven years in the NFL - playing for the Bengals and Eagles - weren’t quite as successful, in part because of the franchises themselves.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, dave rimington

  9. 2010 Jan 14

    The Ten Worst Fan Bases in College Sports

    18,400 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    When Lane Kiffin suddenly bolted Tennessee after one season for USC Tuesday, some enterprising student Volunteer thought it useful to consider lighting a mattress on fire outside the UT athletic complex. Not a poster of Kiffin. Not even a pillow dummy with the word “KIFFIN” written on it. A mattress.

    To the credit of the 1,000 or so students who showed up to party and riot at Kiffin’s depature, some T-shirts were at least placed on top of the mattress before it went ablaze So perhaps the giant, smelly, black-smoke inducing cushion was merely a stage of sorts.

    Either way, it was a low moment for a typically proud fan base, who stooped to profanity for, again, a football coach who’d spent all 14 months - Kiffin was very specific about that - on campus providing a running comedy routine for students to enjoy on their message boards and in their morning paper.

    This latest bit of burlesque got me to think: What’s the ten worst fan bases in college sports? Is Tennessee even on the list? And what makes a rotten fan base?

    I arrived at five categories: Hoodlum boorishness, arrogance (founded or unfounded), general stupidity, ignorance and unreasonable expectations/distaste for opponents. It could have been a much longer list. But we’ll keep it deca.

    Penn State: Arguably the worst in America - at least in football. Rude, loud, threatening, loaded and loyal to a fault. Good if you’re a Penn State fan. Bad if you’re traveling to a Penn State game, hoping for anything remotely resembling a pleasant experience. The nation’s top school for alcohol use in 2009, according to the Princeton Review. The standard uniform of a Penn State fan: a white t-shirt with jeans or khaki shorts, a Marlboro Light cigarette, expensive beer to go along with their expensive education and a shoulder chip the size of Buick. Their chant says it all: We Are Penn State. Sounds like a battalion. Or a gang.

    Colorado: The definitive description of Boof fans written by one of our members. We’ll let it stand for itself.

    West Virginia: OK, so these fans are cheery, pleasant and support their team well enough. But they also party for six hours when three would suffice. Majors in beer bonging and couch burning. This is the fan base that jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Missouri: Their dalliance with the Big Ten pretty is an example. Mizzou fancies itself the “Harvard of the Plains,” looks down its nose at the rest of the Big 12 North, and yet accomplishes astonishingly little for all of its snootiness. Tiger fans are notoriously negative, too - toward their own team, moreso toward opponents. Little seems to be good enough for the rich kids from Overland Park and Ladue.

    Notre Dame: If you’ve ever been to South Bend, you can certainly get why fans feel a certain connection to ND, its campus and the football team. I have, and it is indeed special. My daughter can attend any day. But Irish fans cling to an ideal that vanished by the time Paul Hornung was on campus. The expectations are out of whack, the standards are out of whack, and the alumni lead the way in football entitlements. ND sees itself as Ivy League and BCS at the same time. You can’t have both.

    Duke: They’re Duke basketball, and you’re not. From 1990-2004 or so, that was meaningful. Now it’s time try on humility.

    Ohio State: Toned down the trumpets for a few years after some tough bowl losses. Watch what happens now that OSU scored a nice Rose Bowl win. One of America’s biggest fan bases, OSU has its share of terrific followers - but unreasonable, insufferable ones, too. When you’re as visible as the Woodies, you’re bound to suffer some slings and arrows.

    USC: The new “U,” if you ask me. Head to the upper reaches of LA Coliseum, and count the number of Reggie Bush jersey-wearing fans with aggravated assault convictions. It’s not the Trojans’ fault, per se - and Pete Carroll rightly used his station as coach to make a difference in the city - but the baddest dude on the block draws bad company. Plus - the fan base seems a little too eager to chip in for the kids, if you know what I mean.

    South Carolina: Here’s our guilty pleasure fan base. Gamecocks are like the court jesters of the SEC, the toadies, if you will. Never dominant. Never awful. Always chattering about gentalia and the rest of the league that passes them up and down on the elevator. A Cocks fan probably finished a year of law school, dozes on the porch, has connections in Charleston and hustles up a ten-buck nassau on the golf course whenever he needs money for a ticket. Cracks a lot of jokes. Won’t break a sweat.

    Tennessee: Yep, the Vols made it by a nose over Alabama, Maryland and a few others. UT fans don’t deal well with playing second fiddle to Florida or Georgia for most of the last 17 years (all that talent, and just two SEC titles) and many willingly embraced Kiffin upon his arrival - knowing full well what the guy brought to the table - only to react like, well, children upon his exit. Tennessee wants success a little too much, wethinks.

    See also:

    Best Fans/Worst Fans
    Best Helmets/Worst Helmets

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  10. 2010 May 03

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 30

    17,692 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!

    No. 30 Kicker Alex Henery (2007-present)

    So, yes, Henery is a kicker. That, in itself, is a bit controversial, adding him to a list of 30 best players since 1980. That said, Henery is easily the best kicker in Nebraska history, hitting 50 of 57 field goals in his first three years and 139 of 140 extra points. Plus, five of those seven misses are from beyond 50 yards. A 47 for 49 rate inside 50 yards isn’t merely astonishing - it’s won games for NU, and kept them in countless others.

    Although the Huskers lost to Texas and Virginia Tech in 2009, Henery kept NU in both games with his right foot alone. His punting, especially inside the 20-yard line, helped the Huskers win the field position battle during the last half of the season. It also earned Henery a rare honor: The Blackshirt. And if Bo can bestow that on him, it’s good enough for us.

    Had Henery wanted to play college soccer - and play it well - he could have done it. He chose another path - and was wise to do it. He’ll be, in 12 months time, one of the few kickers taken in the NFL Draft. It may not be the conventional pick, but Henery belongs on the list.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, alex henery

  11. 2010 May 20

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 9

    17,675 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 9 Wide Receiver Irving Fryar (1980-1983)

    A 6-foot, 200 pounds, Fryar was one of the most impressive athletes - in any sport - ever to play at Nebraska. His longevity in the NFL - 17 years, 851 catches and 12,785 yards as a relatively undersized receiver - proved it. Although his career stats - 1800 total yards and 16 touchdowns in four seasons - are modest compared to some on this list, consider that, each time Fryar rushed or caught a pass in his career, he averaged more than 15 yards per play. For an option football team. That had Turner Gill and Mike Rozier on it, too.

    In other words, Fryar was the ultimate special weapon, the second coming of Johnny Rodgers - whom some consider the greatest Husker of them all - minus the kick and punt returns. On a team like NU’s in 2010, he’d shatter every useful receiving record on the books. He was that good.

    Tom Osborne was never better than when he had Gill, Rozier and Fryar at his disposal. He could send Fryar on a deep post, and Fryar would zoom by the defenders in the secondary. On reverses, Fryar often located a second gear, outrunning opposing tacklers to the sideline. His change of direction was sudden and violent, with maximum speed.

    Fryar spent the first half of his NFL career in New England before peaking as a performer at Miami and Philadelphia. He went to five Pro Bowls, once as a punt returner.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10No. 9

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, irving fryar

  12. 2010 May 27

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 3

    17,571 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 3 Running Back Mike Rozier (1981-1983)

    It is still, without any debate, the single greatest offensive season by a Husker football player: 2,148 rushing yards, 2,486 all-purpose yards, 29 touchdowns, 7.8 yards per carry, 11 straight 100-yard rushing games, the Heisman, the Maxwell, and the Walter Camp Awards. Man, what a year! And what a player.

    Rozier is the best running back in NU history, finishing with 4,780 yards and 52 touchdowns in just three seasons, despite sharing time with another of the great Husker backs, Roger Craig. Short - 5-foot-10 - but built - 205 pounds - he churned through holes quickly, and was remarkably hard to knock down. Among his many strengths, balance was probably the one that stood out; Rozier’s low center of gravity and squared shoulders allowed him to change directions without losing momentum. Rozier scampered, sprinted, bolted, spun and tore away. A flimsy, tearable jersey, allowed back then by the NCAA, helped.

    It’s nearly been 30 years since he last donned the pads for the Huskers, so younger fans foolishly tab Lawrence Phillips as the more talented of the two. In a word, hogwash. Rozier was just as tough and more explosive, combining the speed of an Ahman Green with the hard-nosed toughness of a Derek Brown. Phillips could not have ripped off prodigious 93-yard runs like Rozier did vs. Kansas State in 1981, nor spanned the length of the field twice to score a two-yard touchdown, as Rozier did vs. UCLA in 1983. Phillips may have broken more tackles in his career, true, but Rozier was harder to tackle. The numbers favor Rozier, as well. While Phillips won two national titles, and Rozier did not, Phillips also enjoyed a world-class defense.

    In short, Rozier’s mark may never be eclipsed at NU, and if it is, it’ll certainly never be in the way Rozier eclipsed it, at the nation’s best program with less than 300 carries.

    Rozier unwisely played in the USFL for one season out of college; much like other USFL running backs, he struggled to cross over to the NFL. He did play eight years, mostly with the run-n-shoot Houston Oilers, making two Pro Bowls and a few playoff games. But he was never what he was at Nebraska. No matter. He was great in college, and that’s enough for the Big Red.


    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6, No. 5, No. 4

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, mike rozier

  13. 2010 May 21

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 8

    17,391 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 8 Offensive guard Dean Steinkuehler (1980-1983)

    The name. Steinkuhler. Just sounds like a blocking monster, doesn’t it? He ate defensive tackles for a living, and was so adept a blocker on option plays that running backs Roger Craig and Mike Rozier often had massive lanes through which to run. Medium-sized for the era - 6-3, 270 pounds - Steinkuhler’s biggest assets were his motor and his quickness. Combine that with good technique, which Steinkuhler had by his sophomore year, and you’re looking at one of NU’s best players ever.

    He won the Outland and Lombardi Trophies in 1983 and was named to both the Sports Illustrated and Walter Camp All-Century teams in 1999, as well. His sons, Ty and Baker, have enjoyed productive careers at NU. He played eight years for the Houston Oilers after being selected No. 2 in the 1984 NFL Draft - right behind Irving Fryar.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10No. 9

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, dean steinkuhler

  14. 2011 Sep 21

    An Interesting Photo Arises...of Black Uniforms?!

    17,199 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    While much rumor and discussion has taken place over a snapshot regarding a black Nebraska helmet, this picture has begun floating all over the Internet as of today...could those helmets have been a sign?



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    Tags: black uniforms

  15. 2010 May 10

    Release The Hounds! (To The Big Ten?)

    16,766 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Now, 810 WHB, one of the Midwest largest's radio stations, is in on the "Missouri/Nebraska to the Big Ten" fun.

    According to multiple sources close to the negotiations - whoever they might be - NU and Mizzou have been invited to the Big Ten, as has Notre Dame and Rutgers.

    "While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario."

    WHB is stationed in Kansas City. So one can only presume the sources are Missouri administrators. The rest of the story seems to confirm that.

    UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman told the Lincoln Journal-Star there wasn't any truth to the report.

    "None whatsoever," he said to the LJS. NU then released a statement on the matter, which you can read here.

    Well, either way we'll see. We've been slow to hop on this train, as you know. The KC/St. Louis media is quite good, but most of the stories about Big Ten expansion have been driven by them and by proxy Missouri. And we all know where Mizzou stands as it pertains to the Big Ten.

    What's your take on Big Ten expansion? Talk about it here!

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    Tags: big ten expansion

  16. 2010 May 19

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 10

    16,734 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 10 Linebacker Trev Alberts (1990-1993)

    Still the only Butkus Award winner in Nebraska history, Alberts was the bridge from NU’s old 5-2 defense to a more aggressive 4-3 style. Tough, savvy and more athletic than opponents guessed, Alberts finished with 248 career tackles, 45 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks. His senior season alone - 96 tackles, 21 TFLs and 15 sacks - is one of the single best seasons in Blackshirt history.

    He started his last two seasons at Nebraska, but played significant minutes in all four. A combination of speed and aggression, Alberts was a premier blitzer who could also, when necessary, cover running backs, Alberts’ best attribute appeared to be his toughness. After suffering a dislocated elbow in the 1993 Oklahoma game, he returned for the 1994 Orange Bowl and was brilliant, sacking Charlie Ward three times for 29 yards. Alberts was named Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year in 1994 and was an academic All-American. The epitome of the golden boy, Alberts spent some time as a college football analyst before becoming the athletic director at UNO. He could one day hold the same title at NU.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, trev alberts

  17. 2010 May 24

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 7

    16,239 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 7 Quarterback Turner Gill (1981-1983)

    The biggest compliment you could give just about any athlete is that he made it look effortless. Gill did that and then some. Always quick, but rarely in a hurry, Gill was the first true option quarterback of Tom Osborne’s tenure - Osborne beat out Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer for Gill’s services - and the straw that stirred an incredible offensive drink. He wasn’t the most amazing of the Triplets - his name is still to come on the list - but Gill was the template for confident, steely leadership.

    Taking over the starting role midway through his sophomore season at NU, Gill finished his career with 3,317 yards passing and 1,593 yards rushing. He accounted for 52 touchdowns, and served as engineer of the 1983 “Scoring Explosion” squad that ranks among the best offenses in college football history.

    Best of all, he never lost to Oklahoma.

    Elusive and possessing an excellent touch on the football, Gill stands as Osborne’s best pass/run threat at quarterback. Only 2.57 percent of his passes were ever intercepted. And yet two games - a controversial 1982 loss to Penn State and the 1984 Orange Bowl - prevented Gill from ever winning a national title as a player. Neither loss was Gill’s fault; the Penn State game, in fact, was one of his more memorable performances, with 239 yards passing.

    He made up for it as quarterbacks coach of Tommie Frazier and Scott Frost winning in 1994, 1995 and 1997. He recently became head coach of Kansas after returning Buffalo to some measure of respectability.


    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10No. 9, No. 8

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, turner gill

  18. 2010 Mar 08

    Husker Monday Takes: Taking Recruiting Aim in Florida

    16,091 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Six strong takes as we begin to prepare our NCAA Tournament guide. Look for it a week from now!

    *Bo Pelini and Co. can smell a bonanza recruiting season ahead.

    We told you, on the 2010 Signing Day, what was coming. Now NU is making its move to surpass the Big 12 North and the back half of the Big 12 South, settling in as the No. 3 recruiting power in the league behind Texas and Oklahoma.

    If you look at scholarship offers in talent-rich areas - with a key expansion in Florida - and the aggression toward getting top-notch prospects - like Chandler (Ariz.) offensive lineman Christian Westerman - to attend the Red/White Spring Game on their own dime, there’s a distinct sense of urgency to create buzz and momentum after spellbinding the nation during the Big 12 Championship and turning in the most dominant performance of the bowl season.

    According to the Rivals.com database - as always, those gents do terrific gumshoe work - NU has offered nine players from Florida, getting a verbal commitment, thus far, from Clearwater offensive lineman Tyler Moore. There will be more. Few states grow speed - both to stock the spread offense and to stop it - quite like the Sunshine State, and when you get the scent of Tampa, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale in your nostrils, it’s hard to get out.

    The key is landing the cream of the Florida crop - not the second-tier better suited for the MAC or its Big 12 brother, Iowa State.

    The usual full-court press is being done in Texas. The Huskers have already offered 11 wide receiver prospects, two of which have committed to Texas and Oklahoma, respectively.

    Who has NU not offered? Three in-state prospects with D-I tenders: Omaha Central’s Ted Lampkin (Kansas State and Iowa State), Millard North’s Cole Fisher (Iowa and Kansas) and 6-foot-9 Hastings St. Cecilia giant Zach Sterup (Iowa and Ohio). Nebraska will invite all three to camp - Fisher is recovering from an injury - but, by then, the Huskers might have scooped up bigger names based on the varyag of players heading to the Spring Game.

    Nebraska walks a fine line with the in-state ham-and-eggers. Bonanza or not, NU needs their camp money, and some Husker faithful believe when a player is worthy of a scholarship offer at Iowa - which will begin next season ranked inside the top ten - then he‘s earned a seat the Big Red’s table. Other (mostly younger) fans wouldn’t care if the entire roster was comprised of kids from Nova Scotia, if that’s what it took to win a Big 12 title.

    *The word out of winter conditioning and 7-on-7 drills is that Cody Green appears ready to make the leap. Let’s see in practice and the Spring Game. Zac Lee is the clubhouse leader; Green, still out on the course, will have his chance. Getting scolded earlier in the 2009 season for playing too recklessly in mop-up duty - and that pick six in the Baylor game - shifted Green shifted into a piece of unsteady wood who strung out plays and doubted his skills.

    *Ndamukong Suh won’t fall below the No. 3 pick to Tampa Bay - but swish this scenario around in your mouth for a second: The Seattle Seahawks have the No. 6 and No. 14 picks to play around with, and it’s not a sure thing that the quarterback they want - Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford - will be around that long. While Seattle has the ammo to go after the St. Louis Rams’ top pick if it wants Bradford that badly, I wouldn’t be shocked if new coach Pete Carroll packages his two picks to jump a few spots and land Suh.

    Talk about a home run. Suh would know Carroll’s defensive system as well as any in the NFL - Carroll mentored Bo Pelini, remember - Seattle is close to Suh’s Portland home, and it’s close to his primary sponsor, Nike. Plus, the Seahawks need defensive linemen. Starters Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane are solid-but-unspectacular.

    *Kelsey Griffin is a shoe-in to be a Naismith finalist. She ought to win it - especially after a spectacular 36-point performance to preserve the Nebraska women’s basketball team’s undefeated season - but since ESPN and most other news outlets treat the sport like the Connecticut/Tennessee Invitational, you can expect UConn’s Maya Moore, who won the Naismith in 2009, to win it again.

    Let’s look more closely at the numbers:

    Moore’s per-game numbers: 18.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 2.1 steals and 1 block in 28 minutes.

    Griffin’s per game numbers: 20.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.7 blocks in 27 minutes.

    Looks like Griffin holds up. Moore is more dynamic, Griffin draws more fouls. While UConn’s non-conference schedule was harder (games vs. Oklahoma, Texas, Stanford and Florida State) the Big 12, top-to-bottom, is stronger than the Big East. And Griffin, let’s face it, means more to Nebraska than Moore does to the Huskies. Moore is one of many studettes in Storrs. Griffin is the straw that stirs Nebraska’s drink.

    *Not only would it be nearly impossible to fit a 96-team NCAA Tournament bracket on a 8½-by-11-inch piece of paper legibly, any expansion of the Big Dance hurts the very best teams.

    No. 1 and No. 2 seeds would no longer play a retread from the MEAC in the first round, but some 20-win mid-major with a warm-up game already under its belt. No. 9 seeds would play the retreads, getting the advantage of a 40-minute, live practice the No. 8 seeds wouldn’t enjoy. Fair? Not hardly. An expansion only fattens the wallets of programs and coaches whose teams aren’t quite good enough to qualify now. The improved reputation of a few is not worth trashing a beautiful thing.

    *Nebraska baseball needs two weeks of passable weather. Livable. Playable. In those two weeks, NU plays five games at Haymarket Park - including a three-game series vs. Houston Baptist - and should win all of them. Every bit of confidence and practice will help when the Huskers head to Texas Mar. 19 for a three-game series. The Longhorns - great pitching, good enough offense - are similar to UCLA, the team that just swept NU.

    The Huskers are better than their 3-7 record suggests. Closer to breaking through than slipping back. But they need some good weather. And they need to stick Casey Hauptman in the weekend rotation.

    See also: Commentary: Doc On the Clock

    Join Husker Locker today - it's free!

    Tags: husker monday takes, bo pelini, recruiting, wbb, baseball, mike anderson, kelsey griffin

  19. 2010 May 14

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 14

    16,083 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 14 Offensive guard Will Shields (1989-1992)

    Big, smart and athletic, Will Shields started for three years at guard, and nabbed the Outland Trophy during his senior season, 1992. A picture of durability, Shields was equally good whether trapping or drive-blocking his opponent. Often casually mentioned by former head coach Tom Osborne as one of the highest-grading offensive linemen in Nebraska history, Shields was a third-round pick in the NFL Draft. The Kansas City Chiefs were richly rewarded for the selection; Shields started more than 200 consecutive games, went to 11 Pro Bowls and was named the NFL’s Man of the Year in 2003. One day - perhaps soon - he’ll be poised to join the NFL Football Hall of Fame.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, will shields

  20. 2010 May 12

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 17

    15,718 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

    Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

    Not a member, but would like to comment? Join Husker Locker today - it's free!.

    Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


    No. 17 Running back Lawrence Phillips (1993-1995)

    We know what you’re thinking: Too low. Too low for a running back who rushed for s school-record 1,722 yards as a sophomore, in a season where every person in the stadium knew who was getting the ball. Too low for a running back who ripped off 11-straight 100-yard rushing games, despite those same circumstances. Too low for a running back who, pound for pound, was one of the most breathtaking runners in NU history.

    And we know what you’re thinking: Too high. Too high for a criminal who helped drag Nebraska’s name through the media mud and possibly helped drive Tom Osborne to an early retirement. Too high for a guy who couldn’t control his temper around men or women, in college or in the pros. Too high for a guy who was, let’s face it, suitably replaced by true freshman Ahman Green during the 1995 season.

    Phillips is the hardest case. He wasn’t the only miscreant on that 1995 Nebraska team. His childhood spent in Los Angeles was more difficult than most. Some swear by his surprisingly gentle nature. He was also sentenced to 31 years in prison last year.

    There’s no question he was a great college running back. His pro career was a different story. What happened? Was it the turmoil and bad publicity, or did Phillips benefit too much from the best offensive line in college football?

    The debate rages on.

    Check Out the Entire List!

    Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, lawrence phillips

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