Offensive lineman is the next subject in this summer's "Best of Nebraska" series. This one was pretty easy to come up with candidates. Nebraska has a nice history of outstanding linemen during the Devaney and Osborne eras, but four names immediately come to mind. As always, if you feel I've left someone worthy off this list (and there are some good ones, mind you), nominate them below.
Naturally for linemen, there aren't a lot of highlight videos available, but we did manage to find a couple of these guys running the famed Fumblerooskie.
Bob Brown wasn't necessarily the most decorated Husker offensive lineman during his college career, but he sure made his mark in the NFL. He was a unanimous all-American in 1963, leading the Huskers to their first Big Eight championship that season. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him with the second overall pick in the 1964 NFL draft, and was named to the NFL's "All Decade" team for the 1960's. He was the NFL/NFC's offensive lineman of the year three times, and is only one of two former Huskers to be enshrined in both the college and pro football Halls of Fame.
Dave Rimington is the only two-time winner of the Outland Trophy. In his senior season, he added the Lombardi Award along with his second Outland. An outstanding student (two time academic All-American), he was named to the NCAA's "Top Five Student Athlete" in 1982. A first round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals, he played five seasons with the Bengals, then two with the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring. He now is President of the Boomer Esasion Foundation, helping raise funds to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Any doubts that Nebraska would suffer from the loss of Dave Rimington were erased when Dean Steinkuhler burst into national prominence at offensive guard. In his senior season, he was a consensus all-American and helped clear the road for the "Triplets" of Turner Gill, Mike Rozier, and Irving Fryar. Nebraska averaged 52 points a game in that magical 1983 season that ended with that painful loss in the Orange Bowl, where Steinkuhler scored on the famed Fumblerooskie.
Steinkuhler was drafted with the second overall pick in the 1984 NFL draft, spending eight years with the Houston Oilers. Steinkuhler's sons came to Nebraska, but on the other side of the line. Ty was a force on that 2008 defensive line, while Baker Steinkuhler will attempt to replace Ndamukong Suh. If there ever was a precedent for a team losing an Outland/Lombardi Award winner where the team actually got better, the name Steinkuhler has to come to mind. That's a heck of a precedent going into the 2010 season.
Will Shields was the first native Oklahoman to earn a scholarship to Nebraska, and was a three-year starter in Lincoln. In his senior season, he was an all-American and won the 1992 Outland Trophy. He went on to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 14 year career, playing in ten Pro Bowls. He was named the NFL's Man of the Year in 2003 for the work of his "Will to Succeed" foundation serving the disadvantaged in the Kansas City area.
And yes, he ran the Fumblerooskie to success in that classic 52-7 beatdown of Colorado on Halloween in 1992. Sadly, this play is now illegal...
So what are your thoughts? Did we miss anybody?