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Big Ten Countdown: 90 - Laces Out, Alex

Yesterday, we highlighted the under-appreciated Husker women's bowling team.  Today we celebrate the #90.  A lot of things come to mind, but the one surfaced to the top was the greatest Husker to ever wear that number.

Alex Henery.

I've argued this before, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that Henery was just as valuable to Nebraska football as Suh was. Not dominant like Suh, but valuable.

The kid had ice in his veins. As great as Suh was, he also had really good guys around him that made him even better.  Crick, Turner and a top-notch secondary helped Suh toss quarterbacks around like rag dolls.  Henery, however, was pretty much on his own.  

Both guys were clutch, but did anyone...anyone...even remotely worry that Henery would miss that 52 yarder during this year's Big 12 Championship game?  In his 3 years as a starter, did you ever think he was going to miss?  

Every since he was thrust into the limelight as a sophomore, this team has leaned on #90 countless amount of times.  When Pelini got hired, he and his brother shored up the defense in a hurry.  The offense, though, was STILL trying to find an identity.  And the only offensive consistency they had was Henery.

Need 4 field goals because your offense went AWOL...again?  No problem.  

Need a game-winning 57 yarder to validate your new head coach's first season?  His response to his coach:  "I made it in warmups. I've been hitting it good."  

Oh yeah, we're going to need you to punt, too.  If you could, we'd love it if you could have it just stop dead at the 2 (2:10 into the video).  Just do that, OK?  Fine.

Oh, and look at his kicking stats during his career at Nebraska:

  • He made 89.2 percent of his field goals (66-of-74. The NCAA record is 87.8 percent b Florida's Bobby Raymond.
  • He made 77.4 percent of his career field goals from 40 yards or longer (24-of-31). The NCAA record was72.1 percent by Georgia's Billy Bennet.
  • He has made 97.7 percent of field goals inside of 40 yards (42-of-43). The NCAA career record was 97 percent.
  • Henery was tied for the NCAA record with six career games with at least four field goals.  
  • Henery combined to make 256 of 265 career kicks if you count PATs and field goals, a 96.6 percent accuracy record. The Division I record is 94.9 percent by Missouri's Jeff Wolfert
  • The Omaha Burke grad holds the scoring record at Nebraska with 397 points. 
For some unknown reason, Henery was not a Groza nominee or even First Team All Big 12 this year.  Two glaring omissions in his otherwise spotless resume. That's OK.  We'll just have guys like Kirk Herbstreit and his fellow colleagues call him "The Best Kicker in the History of College Football." Retire his jersey.  Put #90 up on the wall next to Suh, Crouch, Rodgers and the other Husker greats.  He deserves it just as much as those legends do.

Tomorrow:  Bo's Last Season