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  1. 2010 May 31

    The 30 Best Husker Players Since 1980

    2,925 views

    By HuskerLocker

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  2. 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

  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 27

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 3

    17,571 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. 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

  5. 2010 May 26

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 4

    22,364 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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 2010 May 24

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 6

    18,532 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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 2010 May 21

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 8

    17,391 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. 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

  10. 2010 May 20

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 9

    17,675 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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 2010 May 18

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 11

    15,428 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. 11 Running back Ahman Green (1995-1997)

    Second on NU’s all-time rushing list with 3,880 yards, Green’s excellent freshman season - in which he stepped in for Lawrence Phillips without much of a drop-off and gained 1,086 yards - is at times forgotten in the overall greatness of that particular team. His sophomore season chopped short by a difficult turf toe injury, Green rebounded with an extraordinary junior campaign, rushing for 1,877 yards.

    He finished with 42 career touchdowns and averaged nearly seven yards per carry during his career. Because Green’s playing career happened to coincide with two of the most prolific running backs in college football history - Texas’ Ricky Williams and Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne - he didn’t win as many awards, nor did he appear on a first-team All-American squad. No matter; Green’s effortless style and big-play ability was only marred by his occasional fumble; even still he only lost one game that he played in during his college career. In the NFL, Green was a five-time Pro Bowler for Green Bay, where he may play again in 2010.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, ahman green

  13. 2010 May 17

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 12

    13,702 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. 12 Safety Mike Brown (1996-1999)

    Former defensive coordinator Charlie McBride once called Brown the best defensive player he ever coached; if those words weren’t endorsement enough, Brown’s on-field play and numbers - 287 career tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 14 pass breakups and nine interceptions - do the talking for him.

    An All-American in 1999, Brown was a textbook tackler who also knew how to pack a wallop on an unsuspecting ball carrier. He started his final three seasons at NU, and his 1999 season was jaw-dropping for a safety: 96 tackles, six fumbles caused, five interceptions, five pass breakups, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. His finest game, however, was a 19-tackle performance in a 20-16 home loss to Texas.

    Brown has played 10 seasons in the NFL - missing most of three because of devastating knee or Achilles’ injuries - make the pro bowl once and All-Pro another time. The testament to his greatness is this: In the last 13 years, college or pro, whenever he’s suited up - he’s started. That’s a warrior.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, mike brown

  14. 2010 May 17

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 13

    12,628 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. 13 Defensive tackle Jason Peter (1994-1997)

    As significant of a vocal leader as he was an on-field stud, Jason Peter was, until Ndamukong Suh, the definitive defensive tackle of the modern Blackshirt era. Both powerful and s fairly skilled technician, Peter finished his career with 156 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and ten sacks. More importantly might have been his 48 quarterback hurries and 11 interceptions caused. Peter’s numbers suffer a bit because of the outstanding defense surrounding him, but his dominance in the interior was a partial cause for Grant Wistrom and Mike Rucker’s terrific numbers from the defensive end.

    An All-American in 1997 and a finalist for the Nagurski and Outland Trophies that same year, Jason Peter started three seasons - one beside his older brother, Christian - eventually taking over the 55 “double nickel” number in his final two campaigns. He won three national titles - only a handful of Huskers could claim the same, and, along with Wistrom was the undisputed leader of the 1997 team. His pro career cut short by a back injury, Peter became addicted to painkillers, crack and heroin before writing a bestselling biography, “Hero of the Underground,” about his eventual recovery.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, jason peter

  15. 2010 May 14

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 14

    16,083 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. 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

  16. 2010 May 13

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 15

    14,083 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. 15 Dominic Raiola (1998-2000)

    The last of the great Nebraska centers was one of the best, and easily the nastiest. Quick, mean and blunt like a Mack Truck, Raiola red shirted in 1997, then served as the first great lineman of the Frank Solich era, winning the Rimington Award in 2000, becoming a finalist for the Outland and Lombardi trophies and nabbing first-team All America honors. Raiola and his linemates helped keep NU afloat while quarterback and running debates raged behind them.

    He left school early; otherwise, he might have been higher on this list. He’s played for the Detroit Lions since 2001, he’s started 124 of the 140 games he’s played in, and every game since 2002. On a better team, he likely would have made the Pro Bowl several times by now.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, dominic raiola

  17. 2010 May 13

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 16

    12,889 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. 16 Linebacker Broderick Thomas (1985-1988)

    The Sandman was one of Nebraska’s biggest talkers - and most dynamic playmakers, too. An All-American in 1987 and 1988 - and a finalist for the Lombardi and Butkus Awards in 1988, Thomas finished his career with 242 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks. In his senior season he was particularly dominant (98-17-10).

    At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Thomas was a perfect fit for the rangy 5-2/3-4 defense NU was running in the 1980s. Fast enough to cover tight ends not named Keith Jackson, and a terrific pass rusher, Thomas had to be accounted for on every play. His dangerous style opened up lanes for his teammates like Danny Noonan and Neil Smith.

    He was often thwarted by Oklahoma, but got his revenge - plus the keys back to Memorial Stadium - in a 7-3 win at OU in 1988. That day, the Sooners’ powerful offense gained just 137 yards.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, broderick thomas

  18. 2010 May 12

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 17

    15,718 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. 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

  19. 2010 May 11

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 18

    12,658 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. 18 Offensive Tackle Zach Wiegert

    A giant rock of a man - 6-foot-5, 300 pounds - who was also nimble around the corner, this Fremont native was perhaps NU’s finest tackle since Bob Brown. Wiegert won named first-team All Big Eight for three straight years, was a consensus All-American in 1994, and also won the Outland Trophy.

    He only gave up one sack in his three years of starting, but the most memorable aspect of Wiegert’s career was pulling, magnificently, on those impressive counter trey running plays, with Lawrence Phillips streaking behind him. The play was virtually unstoppable in 1994, a key to NU’s run to the national championship.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, zach wiegert

  20. 2010 May 11

    30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 19

    12,780 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. 19 Cornerback Ralph Brown (1996-1999)

    He started every game of his Husker career, 52 games in all. He finished his career with school records in pass breakups in a game (7), season (15) and career (50). Despite being a lockdown corner for years, he still managed 11 interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns, to go along with his 143 career tackles. Brown had a quick first step, good instincts, and the confidence to take on any receiver. His aggressive style sometimes got him burned, but it also allowed Nebraska to unleash impressive blitzes, as well.

    A three-time All Big 12 player and a first-team All-American in 1999, Brown enjoyed a long career in the NFL as a nickel and dime cornerback. He is best known, however, for being a constant on the lonely Husker island.

    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

    Tags: 30 best players since 1980, ralph brown

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