The summer time is the slow time for a college sports blog traditionally. (Though this week looks like the exception with conference realignment on the frontburner.) With that in mind, CornNation will be sponsoring a series of threads to determine the "Best of Nebraska". We'll look at things both on the field as well as things off the field. We'll start each topic off with a nomination thread, and we'll seed the process with a few nominations. That's where you come in, as we'll want the CornNation community to not only add nominees, but also start the debate. Later this week, we'll actually post the vote and determine who wins each week's category.
The first category is "Best I-Back". Nebraska's had a history of great I-back's throughout the modern era. But who was the best of the bunch? Here are my initial suggestions.
When you think of the 1971 Cornhuskers, you think of Johnny Rodgers and his punt return against Oklahoma. Or maybe quarterback Jerry Tagge. But perhaps you should think about I-back Jeff Kinney, who had an all-American season to lead the Huskers. Big players come up big in big games, and in that "Game of the Century", Kinney rushed for 171 yards and four touchdowns. He went on to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Maybe his career numbers don't hold up, but considering that his season records from his sophomore season lasted well into Osborne era, Bobby Reynolds deserves at least a mention. His final touchdown run against Missouri in 1950 is the stuff of legends, as he reversed field three times (covering well over 100 yards) enroute to scoring the winning touchdown. For that, he was an all-American in 1950. Shoulder, leg, and eye injuries limited him after that season, so he won't get the credit he otherwise deserved.
Mike Rozier's 1983 season is the stuff that legends are made of. 2,148 yards. 29 touchdowns. Oh, and the Heisman Trophy. He elected to go to the USFL, and so his NFL accomplishments pale in comparison to what he did in Lincoln. But that doesn't diminish what he did in Lincoln. Especially that 3 yard run against UCLA.
As a season ticketholder since 1992, I didn't see as many games before that. Back then and prior to that, the Huskers only showed up two or three times a year on television, though I did enjoy them for years thanks to Kent Pavelka and Lyle Bremser on the radio. But in the years since, Ahman Green was the best I-back I personally saw in Lincoln. He just had the entire package of speed and power in his running. I remember that opening touchdown against Oklahoma State in 1995. He literally ran through a Okie State safety, sending him reeling. Certainly his 12 year NFL career vouches for that.
So who'd I miss? What's your take? If you're not a member yet, just click the "Sign Up" link at the left side of the page.