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Ultimate Husker Linebacker Bracket: Round One

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Another excellent set of players - including the only one featured in two of our bracket articles thus far

This bracket focuses a little more on the traditional on-ball ‘backers (see Brew’s explanation below) instead of pass rushers. What a lineup!

It also includes the first player to make a repeat appearance in our bracket series. The days of the two-way player may be mostly gone, but this person is the kind of player you name Husker team awards after (hint). First person to name him in the comments wins 100 Corn Nation internet points!*

From Dr. Bracket, BrewCityHSKR

This one was undoubtedly the hardest to seed. Seeds 4 – 14 is a crapshoot, but will make some really good matchups every round. This is also probably the bracket that has the most big names off of it (sorry, Terrell Farley, Mike Knox, and Jim Wightman). There have been a lot of good linebackers at Nebraska. The ’70s were absolutely stacked. Again, there were a number of LBs included in the Rush End bracket, so some of the best Husker LBs were precluded from this list.

*Corn Nation internet points are not redeemable at Corn Nation. As a matter of fact, they aren’t redeemable anywhere. Cobby invented them for our annual evaluations. Which explains a lot.

Key - AA = All-American; cAA = consensus AA, AC = all-conference

For what it’s worth, I think Murtaugh and Damkroger have the best linebacker scowls in their bio pictures. Novak’s and Pillen’s ain’t bad either.

Round One

1) Jerry Murtaugh – AA, 2X AC. Mr. Husker set records for total tackles, tackles in a season, and tackles in a game. Stifled LSU to secure Nebraska’s first NC. (Huskers.com bio)

vs

16) Will Compton – 4 year starter. Made a great tandem with L. David. (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Jerry Murtaugh
    (323 votes)
  • 9%
    Will Compton
    (33 votes)
356 votes total Vote Now

********************

2) Lavonte David – cAA, 2X AC. Set record for tackles in a season. Logged 17 tackles vs Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. (Huskers.com bio)

vs

15) Jay Foreman – pulled off the rare 12 starts as a freshman and 0 as a sophomore. Started every game as a junior and senior. How he never got a All-Conference selection is beyond me. (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Lavonte David
    (341 votes)
  • 4%
    Jay Foreman
    (17 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

********************

3) Barrett Ruud – AC. First in tackles, first in double-letters. His junior and senior tackle totals stand as #2, and #3, all time, respectively. (Huskers.com bio)

vs

14) Steve Damkroger – AC. Lincoln native cracks the top ten in career tackles (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Barrett Ruud
    (337 votes)
  • 5%
    Steve Damkroger
    (18 votes)
355 votes total Vote Now

********************

4) Ed Stewart – cAA, AC. 3 year starter’s career culminates with a National Title. Top ten in total tackles. (Huskers.com bio)

vs

13) Mike Croel – AC. Ok, maybe he should have been in the RE bracket. Largely playing in the shadow of bigger names (Thomas, Walker) he could be confused as a role player……until he was drafted #4 overall! (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Ed Stewart
    (265 votes)
  • 23%
    Mike Croel
    (82 votes)
347 votes total Vote Now

********************

5) Carlos Polk – AA, 2X AC. No Husker LB has cost the opponent more yards than Polk (134). (Huskers.com bio)

vs

12) DeMorrio Williams – Set LB season records for sacks (11), yards lost (92), and fumble recoveries (4) in 2003. (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Carlos Polk
    (232 votes)
  • 32%
    DeMorrio Williams
    (111 votes)
343 votes total Vote Now

********************

6) Marc Munford – 3X AC. The only WLB to earn 3 All Conference selections. Arrested by New Orleans cops who were clearly trying to give LSU an advantage in the ’86 Sugar Bowl (Final: NU 30 – LSU 15). (Huskers.com bio)

vs

11) Leroy Etienne – 2X AC. One hell of good LB in the late ‘80s, one hell of bad burglar in the late ‘90s. (the Huskers.com bio is empty and I couldn’t find any other relevant pages)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Marc Munford
    (263 votes)
  • 22%
    Leroy Etienne
    (75 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now

********************

7) Tom Novak – 4X AC. This guy again?!? Yes, one of Nebraska’s best O lineman is also one its best LBs. Novak logged 11 INTs on defense!! That’s better than all but 4 DBs in Husker history. (Huskers.com bio)

vs

10) Corey McKeon – Rode a ridiculously strong sophomore season into the records books. Set LB record for most TFL in a season (22, ‘05), 3rd best for any position. (Huskers.com bio)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Tom Novak
    (303 votes)
  • 10%
    Corey McKeon
    (35 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now

********************

8) Clete Pillen – AC. One of only 3 players to log two top-ten all time tackle seasons (125, ’75 & 129, ’76). Holds top two spots for tackles in a game (30 & 27). (Huskers.com bio)

vs

9) Lee Kunz – One of only 3 players to log over 140 tackles in a season, #6 on the all time tackle list. (another empty Huskers.com bio - not sure why)

Poll

Who is the ultimate Husker linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Clete Pillen
    (235 votes)
  • 28%
    Lee Kunz
    (95 votes)
330 votes total Vote Now