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HUSKER Q & A – Cortney Grixby: 2019 And Playing Days...

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Grixby gives us a rundown on what he’s seeing and what he did.

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic: Auburn v Nebraska Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cortney Grixby had a brother, DeAnte, play at Nebraska before him, but after Frank Solich was fired in 2003, he almost ended up at Notre Dame playing hoops and football.

However, Grixby stayed with NU after a few talks with new Coach Bill Callahan and went onto be a Blackshirt and a return man. Also, with one less “break,” he might have played QB for the Huskers.


  • 2004--As a true freshman he played in 10 games with 2 starts in the secondary.
  • 2005--Became a starter and recorded 10 pass break-ups with 1 interception. Also, he had a 10 yard punt return average on 32 punts with 5 returns of 20 yards or more.
  • 2006--He was 2nd on the team in tackles. The cornerback led the team in pass break-ups and added an interception for NU.
  • 2007--He had 27 tackles and 7 pass break-ups at the cornerback spot. He had a 2 interception day versus Iowa State. As a kick-off return man, he set a Big 12 record with 1,094 return yards with 5 returns of 30 yards or more, including a 94 yard TD return versus Kansas State.
  • 2007--Tom Novak Award Winner

Impressions of the Husker defense in 2019 so far?

So far just more cohesive and formidable as a until, lot of improvement. I see them flying to the ball and getting multiple hats to the ball and that’s when good things happen for a defense.

You were a corner who had a roller-coaster ride at Nebraska, thoughts on CB Leon Jackson?

Right now, I really like his competitiveness. Early on he had some ups and downs with multiple defensive back coaches, but now I see scratching the surface of what he can be. I see a bright future for him.

Player that stands out early on defense?

Cam Taylor-Britt is flashing; he shows up on film. He is very decisive as a defensive back and he is always attacking. His football instincts are good and he has two plus years to keep getting better for Nebraska.

What do you like about Scott Frost?

Scott is relatable to the guys and a players’ coach. Really, he just comes off as just one of the guys because he is fairly young for a head coach. He has played before at a high level in college and the NFL, so that gets a lot of respect with the players. And it shows up in their recruiting too as that is going well for Nebraska.

With a brother a few years ahead of you at NU ahead of you, what do you remember being around the team in high school?

I remember celebrating my 13th birthday in Demoine Adams and Keyou Craver’s dorm room. They were shooting silly string on me and punching me because I was wearing a Charles Woodson jersey.

I learned to drive in Lincoln too. I almost hit a bus on campus as well.

Did you almost end up at Notre Dame?

Yes. Only because the coaching change as I was comfortable with Coach Solich and everything. Notre Dame was really talking to me about playing hoops too. I liked Coach Willingham a lot and I remember we took him to Timeout Chicken when he came to Omaha, but Callahan showed me how they were going to use me and I stayed with Nebraska.

Frosh moment maybe where you felt overwhelmed?

My first practice that August my head was spinning. I got turned and spun around 100 different ways. And then second practice Coach Elmo yelled at me the whole time. Early on I didn’t hear a call and I was frustrated, so let him know that and raised my voice a bit. And Elmo went ape ___ and the rest of practice was just hollering at me!

But at the end of practice, he told me I had a good practice and I wouldn’t be redshirting. Go figure.

Memorable game?

Maybe the Iowa State game in 2006. I had two interceptions and in on some tackles, and we shut a down a good offense. On one of them I made a sliding pick in the red zone so that was nice.

Toughest Husker to cover in practice?

T Nunn and Nate Swift ran such good, crisp routes that you had to be on your game with those boys. But all in all, it was Maurice Purify—he was the complete package. He had size, speed and physical at the line. Also, he had huge hands once he got ahold of you blocking.

You played with a tough guy in QB Zac Taylor, what do you remember about him?

Zac was so mentally tough, smart and had pinpoint accuracy. We all respected the hits he took as he just got right back up and kept throwing. Tough kid. He was our leader and we followed him in 2005 and 2006, two of our better years.

Last thing, you almost got some time in at QB with Callahan?

Oh man that would have been fun as I played some in high school. At the start of one spring, Coach Callahan had me in shotgun doing run and shoot stuff, but I broke a finger early on and that went away. It would have been nice though.