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Nebraska Football: All-Time Husker Greats Fantasy Draft, Rounds 1-3

Patrick RungeCorrespondent IMay 14, 2013

Nebraska Football: All-Time Husker Greats Fantasy Draft, Rounds 1-3

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    Nebraska football fans love their history and are blessed to follow a program with a rich tradition. The offseason is a perfect time to reflect on that history, and as I did I got to thinking about a different way to look at it.

    What if we took all the great players in Nebraska history and had a fantasy draft? In other words, take all of the players who have donned the scarlet and cream throughout history and take turns picking from that pool to fill out a fantasy roster of all-time Husker greats.

    We will do it in a two-team league (I know, not terribly competitive) to keep the project manageable. Called the Red Team and the White Team (the greatest Spring Game evah!), keeping the league to two teams will ensure that some difficult choices must be made.

    Each team will have 24 players. In making the selections, we will always be assuming that we will be getting the player at the prime of his collegiate career. Here’s what the rosters will look like.

    OFFENSE

    DEFENSE

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    Quarterback

    Defensive End

    Placekicker

    I-back

    Defensive End

    Punter

    Fullback

    Defensive Tackle

     

    Offensive Guard

    Defensive Tackle

     

    Offensive Guard

    Outside Linebacker

     

    Offensive Tackle

    Outside Linebacker

     

    Offensive Tackle

    Middle Linebacker

     

    Center

    Safety

     

    Tight End

    Safety

     

    Wide Receiver

    Cornerback

     

    Wide Receiver

    Cornerback

     

    The fantasy draft will have 24 rounds and 48 total selections. I’m going to break them up into three-round chunks, so this will be an eight-part series overall. I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions as to who should be picked next, or why a particular pick was good or bad. The commissioner is approaching the podium, and the Red Team is on the clock!

Red Team, Round 1: Tommie Frazier

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    There was a little thought that went into this, but in the end it’s hard to look past the man who guided Nebraska through the most successful period in its history. It’s not only Frazier’s phenomenal talent that makes him the first overall pick, it’s also his leadership qualities. With Frazier at the helm, the Red Team will have a toughness and a demand for winning that will (hopefully) filter through the whole squad.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

White Team, Round 1: Turner Gill

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    The White Team’s selection of Gill might be a bit surprising, given that it had to leave Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch in the green room waiting. But Gill was no slouch on the field, leading the 1983 Scoring Explosion and missing out on a national title by the slimmest of margins. Don’t forget, Gill was fourth in the 1983 Heisman Trophy vote, won by teammate Mike Rozier.

    What gives Gill the nod over Crouch, though, is the kind of leadership he would bring to the team. No disrespect to Crouch, a transcendent talent and a good man, but Gill’s leadership skills (as evidenced by his long coaching career) would be a huge asset to a team. While a different type of leader than Frazier, Gill’s strength and decency would form the background and the culture for the rest of the White Team squad.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

    2: White Team—Gill, Turner (QB)

Red Team, Round 2: Johnny Rodgers

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    It was very hard to leave Mike Rozier on the board in making this selection, but a number of factors would weigh in favor of The Jet. Both won Heisman Trophies, of course, and both were remarkable offensive weapons. But it is Rodgers’ versatility that tilts the scales in his favor. The Red Team can put him at wide receiver and have an incredible option as a second I-back or as a ball-carrier in motion, in addition to the damage he can do catching passes.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

    2: White Team—Gill, Turner (QB)

    3: Red Team—Rodgers, Johnny (WR)

White Team, Round 2: Mike Rozier

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    Well, if the Red Team is going to leave an amazing talent like Mike Rozier on the board, it would almost be criminal not to take him. Rozier had 26 games rushing for over 100 yards, including 11 straight, and seven games rushing over 200 yards, including four straight. He finished his career with a Heisman Trophy, 4,996 total yards from scrimmage and 51 touchdowns.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

    2: White Team—Gill, Turner (QB)

    3: Red Team—Rodgers, Johnny (WR)

    4: White Team—Rozier, Mike (IB)

Red Team, Round 3: Dave Rimington

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    After two rounds of skill positions, it was time to start building an offensive line to protect them. And there would be no better place to start than at center, the leader of the offensive line. Rimington all but defined the position for Nebraska, and for the country, with his dominant and award-winning performances from 1979-1982.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

    2: White Team—Gill, Turner (QB)

    3: Red Team—Rodgers, Johnny (WR)

    4: White Team—Rozier, Mike (IB)

    5: Red Team—Rimington, Dave (C)

White Team, Round 3: Ndamukong Suh

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    The White Team takes the first defensive player off the board with Suh. While Suh’s dominance was really limited to his junior and senior seasons, the impact he made on the field is hard to ignore.

    From a defensive tackle position, Suh was able to generate a ferocious pass rush, logging 12 sacks in his senior season and 19.5 in his last two campaigns. Combine that with his ability to stop the run from the middle, and Suh brings the kind of production and versatility that will anchor the White Team’s version of the Blackshirts.

    Draft Ticker

    1: Red Team—Frazier, Tommie (QB)

    2: White Team—Gill, Turner (QB)

    3: Red Team—Rodgers, Johnny (WR)

    4: White Team—Rozier, Mike (IB)

    5: Red Team—Rimington, Dave (C)

    6: White Team—Suh, Ndamukong (DT)

Draft Summary

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    Here is a summary of how the teams currently stand, with the players selected, the overall draft selection position in (parentheses), and the remaining positions to fill in italics.

    RED TEAM

    WHITE TEAM

    QB: Frazier, Tommie (1)

    QB: Gill, Turner (2)

    IB

    IB: Rozier, Mike (4)

    FB

    FB

    OG

    OG

    OG

    OG

    OT

    OT

    OT

    OT

    C: Rimington, Dave (5)

    C

    TE

    TE

    WR: Rodgers, Johnny (3)

    WR

    WR

    WR

    DE

    DE

    DE

    DE

    DT

    DT: Suh, Ndamukong (6)

    DT

    DT

    OLB

    OLB

    OLB

    OLB

    MLB

    MLB

    S

    S

    S

    S

    CB

    CB

    CB

    CB

    PK

    PK

    P

    P

    What do you think of the teams so far? Who should be taken next? Who has been the biggest snub? Let me know in the comments section below!

    If you’d like to contact Patrick, send an email to patrickrunge@gmail.com.

    Or, you could always...Follow @patrickrunge.

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