Let's face it America—cornerbacks get no love. Consider this, of the 16 retired football jerseys at the University of Nebraska, none are cornerbacks. Being a spreader of love, I thought I'd slide them some.
With Deion Sanders being inducted in the Hall of Fame in the fall, this list is even more appropriate. Maybe more cornerbacks willw make the Hall.
Prince Amukamara, Dejon Gomes and Eric Hagg are set to represent the Huskers in the NFL combine coming up from February 23-March 1 in Indianapolis' corner of the world.
Cornerbacks are often put in position to make plays on their own islands—man-to-man pass coverage all over the field. Stay with me as I reveal the best shut down cornerbacks to inhabit Cornhuskers Corner, aka Big Red Island.
Swiney (SWEE-nee) was the last remaining starter from Nebraska's 1997 National Championship team. He made 38 starts (including bowl games) in his Husker career.
In NU's record books, he's third with 38 career pass breakups.
Swiney, who made three starts in 2001, shared time at right cornerback with DeJuan Groce and saw most of his time in nickel and dime packages.
An August 2001 graduate, Swiney played his senior season with his degree in hand, before signing a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers in 2002.
This Glendale, AZ native played as a true freshman—although sparingly. He recorded 11 pass breakups as a junior in 2009.
As a senior, he was a Thorpe Award finalist for the nation's top defensive back.
Progress while backpedaling at its finest.
A three-year starter before bolting early for the NFL, Washington consistently ran a sub-4.3 40-yard dash.
In his first game at NU, he intercepted a pass against Arizona State and returned it for a 29-yard touchdown.
In 2004, he tied Swiney for fourth on the all-time career pass breakup list with 38.
Washington finished his career No. 3 on school charts in career interceptions (11).
Dana Stephenson is in the Huskers' record book with Matt O'Hanlon, Joe Blahak and Ric Lindquist as the only players in NU history to post three interceptions in a game.
Stephenson also set the record for career interceptions by a cornerback at the University of Nebraska (14).
In his career, Nebraska's records were (6-4), (6-4) and (9-2) under Devaney.
His squad's leader in passes broken up (6) and interceptions (4), he played on one of the most dominant passing defenses in University of Nebraska football history.
A member of the UPI, AFC-Kodak, Football News, and Walter Camp All-America teams, Butterfield was a big-play corner in 1976.
In fine Cornhuskers style, he also made the First-Team Academic All-Big 8 squad.
Is there any Wonder he was named to the 1975 Playboy All-American First-Team as a cornerback? I didn't believe so.
Safeties Chet Moeller (Navy), Jay Chesley (Vanderbilt), and cornerback Pat Thomas (Texas A&M) were the other three Playboy All-American defensive backs on the team.
Monds set the record for longest interception in a spring game in Lincoln—91-yards in 1974. He had the coolest afro in perhaps all of college football and physically resembled a young Samuel L. Jackson.
Groce owns two single-season school records—three punt return touchdowns and 732 punt return yards—both established in 2002.
He's also the school record-holder for season pass breakups (17 in 2000).
By intercepting two passes in back-to-back games (Troy State, Utah State), Groce became just the second Husker in history to accomplish the feat.
With 142 career tackles, he ranks No. 10 among NU defensive backs.
He finished his career second in school history with 1,218 punt return yards. The 1972 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Rodgers, is the only other Husker with over 1,000 career punt return yards.
Groce broke Rodgers' Nebraska single-season punt return yards record (618). His five career punt return touchdowns trail only Rodgers' eight.
The electrifying Groce graduated with a degree in communication studies.
One of Nebraska's four All-Americans at cornerback—Brown, Butterfield and Monds are the other three—Craver was a supreme defender.
He was also a finalist for the Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Award, a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award and the Football News National Defensive Player-of-the-Year award.
Craver played in every game after his arrival as a true freshman in 1998, making 38 consecutive starts (including bowl games) to end his career.
Having graduated in December 2001, he led the Huskers with eight tackles in the 2002 Rose Bowl.
He ranked second to Ralph Brown with 41 career pass breakups. Craver's 92 tackles were the most ever by a Husker cornerback and fourth for all NU defensive backs.
Also excelling in the triple jump, Craver became the first Husker male athlete in 20 years to earn seven letters.
Along with rover back Mike Minter, Booker was a leader of the secondary and a defensive standout on Nebraska's 1994-5 national title teams.
In the 1996 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, after Kris Brown's field goal made it 25-10, Booker got Danny Wuerffel for a 42-yard pick six.
It was on. The Huskers defeated No. 2 Florida, 62-24, for the national championship.
Booker received the honor of being one of the two defensive backs on the Cornhuskers' All-Century Team. The next guy on this list was the other one.
According to Huskers.com, Brown became the first position player at Nebraska to start his first game as a true freshman since World War II.
In 1996, he was named the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Ralph teamed with rover back Mike Brown (no relation) from 1996-2000. They became the first two Cornhuskers defensive backs to be named All-America in the same season.
He's No. 3 in Cornhuskers history with 11 career interceptions. He's No. 1 with 253 interception return yards. Brown also set a school record with 50 pass deflections and finished with 143 tackles—88 solo.
Brown was also a member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll.
Roll Big Red—out of here with me. Enjoy the rest of your life.