In recent years, Nebraska's had a rather nice run of quality kickers, with some gamebreakers at both kicker and punter. The Huskers had five kickers play in the NFL in recent years, which says something about the recent success the Huskers have had at the position. Oh, and we've got a couple of classic highlights courtesy of YouTube that'll make any Husker smile (and any Buffalo fan weep)...
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Kris Brown had the distinction of being the placekicker during three of the greatest seasons in modern college football history. So it's not surprising that he put up great numbers...but let's not forget he was a pretty darn accurate kicker. He successfully converted 125 extra points from November 16, 1996 to November 14, 1998. During that period, he also kicked 17 straight field goals from September 20, 1997 to September 12, 1998. All told, he converted 217 out of 222 extra points and 57 out of 77 field goal attempts in his Husker career. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Brown in the 7th round of the 1999 Draft, and has played for the Houston Texans the last eight years of his NFL career.
Josh Brown took over for Kris Brown in 1999, and Nebraska never really missed much of a beat. He converted 186 of 190 extra points and 43 out of 60 field goals in his Husker career. Husker fans will happily remember his game winning field goal in 2000 against Colorado. (Love the reactions from former Buffs head coach Gary Barnett and defensive tackle Sean Jarne!)
After his Husker career ended, the Seattle Seahawks drafted him in the 7th round, and has hit 258 out of 259 extra points in his career with Seattle and the St. Louis Rams. He also has something no other Husker kicker has on his resume... a touchdown pass.
His Husker career isn't over yet, but I think we've seen enough of Alex Henery to put him in consideration for this award. Last season, he bailed the Huskers offense out time and time again with field goals and coffin corner punts. He's been nearly automatic on extra points, hitting 139 out of 140 in his career. He added punting duties last season, and put 30 out of 77 punts inside the 20 yard line, including some absolutely ridiculous punts that went out of bounds or were somehow downed inside the five yard line, helping tilt the field time and time again. Like this 66 yarder against Kansas State. (Apparently, this guy aimed his camera at his mirror to record his big screen...go figure...)
But of course, we can't forget that 57 yarder that saved the Huskers bacon against Colorado in 2008.
(Man, that video never gets old, does it? All we need is a little Suh turning Cody Hawkins into a speed bump to go along with it...)
I admit that Kevin Seibel is one of the first Husker kickers I remember, and mostly for his kickoffs, and how he routinely knocked them deep. I think he's the first Husker kicker I ever remember putting a kickoff through the uprights. In 1980, he kicked two field goals that still remain on the top ten list of longest field goals, a 52 yarder at Colorado then a 50 yarder against Kansas State in Lincoln two weeks later.
Sadly, details on Sanger's career are buried deep in the archives. But he was the placekicker from 1971 through 1973, and has a 54 yard field goal to his credit (fifth longest all-time). Kicking on a national championship squad has to count for something, doesn't it?
If we're going to list Sanger, we have to list Paul Rogers, who preceeded Sanger. Rogers predated my fandom, but in my early years, I remember my parents wishing that Rogers was still eligible whenever Nebraska needed a clutch kick. Rogers has the distinction of kicking three 50+ yard field goals in his career, and still was atop the all-time longest field goal chart until Alex Henery's 57 yarder. In the 1969 Sun Bowl, Rogers set a Husker bowl game record with 4 field goals.