SB Nation Hall of Fame: Nebraska Defensive Backs And Special Teams

Defensive Backs

Argh.... I've run out of time. If there's something frustrating about being a blogger, it's that real life has to take a priority over the site, especially during the offseason. Given that, we're going to run through defensive backs and special teams players in a single post.

Is Prince Amukamara the greatest Nebraska defensive back ever?

It's debatable, but there have been some other great ones, and it seems like the best come in combos.

Take two Mikes, for example - Mike Minter and Michael Booker. Booker played cornerback from 1994-1996, and was a two-year starter. He earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors his senior season and was the Defensive MVP of the 62-24 butt-kicking put on the Florida Gators in the '96 Fiesta Bowl. Minter was also a two-year starter who played rover and also weakside linebacker during his senior season in 1996. He was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection by the AP.

Then the Brown brothers (not really brothers, but maybe bro's if they had them back then) replaced the Mikes. Mike Brown and Ralph Brown played together from 1996-1999.

Ralph was a four-year starter and in fact started every game of his college career. That is pretty damned impressive in itself. Brown's career totalled 52 starts, good for second on the all-time NCAA starts list. By the time his career had ended, Ralph had school records in career starts (52), single game pass break-ups (7 against Colorado, 1996), single season pass break-ups (15), and career pass break-ups (50).

Mike played rover, somewhat comparable to what Daimion Stafford is doing today. Like Stafford, he had a reputation for being a hard hitter, something he carried with him into the NFL. Mike was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection in 1999, and by the time his career had ended he was second all-time on the tackle list with 287 total tackles.

Ralph and Mike both earned First-Team All-America honors in 1999.

(I can't vouch for the music on the above youtube highlights. In fact, I try to not link to highlight videos with music because I find them really irritating.)

Special Teams:

Like so many others in this series (Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, Prince Amukamara), kicker, punter and much-loved Alex Henery is not eligible for nomination.

The question is - would you consider Alex Henery a greater special teams player than Johnny Rodgers? I detailedRodgers' exploits in the article on wide receivers and tight ends and concluded that he'd be a better entry as a special teams player than as a wingback.

Those two shouldn't be the only players under consideration. Fact is, before Alex Henery set the NCAA records for accuracy, the Huskers have had some darned good kickers.

Kris Brown was Nebraska's kicker from 1996 to 1998. In 1997, he went 62-for-62 on PATs and 18-of-21 on field goals. His senior season he went 47-of-48 on PATs and 14-of-21 on field goals. In '97 he was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist, if that counts for anything anymore given that Alex Henery couldn't win one while being the best kicker in NCAA history.

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