I had originally planned to go through all of the units eligible for nomination to the SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame but unfortunately, I've been stuck on an email migration project (Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange if you're interested) and it's sucked up a lot more time than I originally anticipated.
Given that, I'm going to do the potential defensive nominations quickly as June 26th is our deadline to submit five nominees for potential inclusion.
The first you need to know about our nominations for a Nebraska defensive lineman is that Ndamukong Suh is not yet eligible (rules for the SBN HOF are at the end of this article).
That makes it a little more difficult to select someone for consideration as a defensive lineman as there are quite a few potential nominees. Those I'd consider amongst the greatest defensive linemen in Nebraska history (those that are eligible, anyway) include Grant Wistrom, Jason Peter, John Dutton, Neil Smith, and Rich Glover.
Wistrom won the 1997 Lombardi Award as a defensive end. He was a two-time First-Team All-American, and in 1996, selected as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
I'll be honest about Peter. He was a monster of a defensive lineman, but I never gave him much credit, probably because the teams on which he played were so damned good overall. Peter was an Outland Trophy finalist in 1997, an All-American in 1997, and First-Team All-Big 12 in both 1996 and 1997. He started every game of his final three seasons. Would you put Peter amongst the greats?
An aside, if you will. If you want to know what was missing from last year's Black Shirt defense, look no further than the combination of Wistrom and Peter. If you'll notice in the previous paragraph, I'm a little bit insulting towards Peter - "the teams on which he played were so damned good overall" - as if he had little to do with it.
The truth is Wistrom and Peter were both so relentless that offensive players had to dread playing them. They brought it every game, every play. That "Day By Day" prayer is easy for anyone to say. Hell, you probably say it at a tailgate. Doing it is a completely different story. You could point at a player, like Lavonte David, that brought it all the time, but it wasn't the entire defense. That's what Wistrom and Peter did. They were part of a core leadership that made sure the rest of the team followed their lead.
So what's missing? All of them, together, every play, every game, being a bunch of relentless bastards that want to destroy every offense they encounter.
If I had to pick someone to nominate, however, I'd pick Rich Glover. Glover played on the 1970 and 1971 national title teams, was a two-time All-American and was the first Cornhusker to win the Outland and Lombardi in the same season. In 1971, Glover had 91 tackles and 13 tackles for loss. 22 of those tackles came in the '71 Game of the Century between Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Remember how we all went WOW WOW WOW at Ndamukong Suh having 76 tackles his junior season, and 85 tackles his senior year? Well, Rich Glover did that at a time in which they didn't play as many games per season, and they didn't track bowl game statistics as part of the regular season/career.
That's how darned good Glover was. The problem with his nomination, however, is politics. SB Nation is full of these young guys, and Glover won't have the name recognition of a Grant Wistrom. (Who the hell am I kidding? Young guys probably won't recognize Wistrom's name either.)
So, Wistrom or Glover? What you say, CN community?
About the SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame
SB Nation is starting its own College Football Hall of Fame. Here's how it works:
For players or inactive coaches, the nominee should have been out of college for four full years. The first class will cover players and coaches who finished their career from 1962 through 2007 (bowls of January 2008). The other option for active coaches OR coaches who haven't been inactive for four years is that they were at their current position for at least five seasons. (Position, NOT school.)
Each SB Nation college site will come up with up to five nominees from these 10 categories suggested: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, ST, Coach.