Pipeline Tradition

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Pipeline Tradition

It’s what’s up front that counts. The September 15 issue of Hail Varsity includes the story PIPELINE TRADITION: Looking at Nebraska’s Greatest Offensive Lines. Here are some of the statistically best and/or most memorable.

1970 National Champs

LT – Bob Newton (LaMirada, Calif.) – 6-4, 248, Sr.

LG – Dick Rupert (Los Angeles) – 6-2, 221, Jr.

C – Doug Dumler (Melrose Park, Ill.) – 6-3, 230, So.

RG – Donnie McGhee (Flint, Mich.) – 6-1, 255, Sr.

RT – Wally Winter (Eagle, Neb.) – 6-4, 248, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-3, 240

–Newton, a consensus All-America selection, was a California junior college transfer recruited by assistant coach Tom Osborne, as was Rupert.

–Newton and McGhee earned first-team All-Big Eight recognition.

 

1971 National Champs

LT – Daryl White (East Orange, N.J.) – 6-4, 238, So.

LG – Dick Rupert (Los Angeles) – 6-2, 221, Sr.

C – Doug Dumler (Melrose Park, Ill.) – 6-3, 230, Jr.

RG – Keith Wortman (Whittier, Calif.) – 6-3, 238, Sr.

RT – Carl Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.) – 6-4, 245, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-3, 234

–Dumler, a second-year starter, was overshadowed for post-season honors by Oklahoma center Tom Brahaney, an All-American.

–Johnson and Rupert earned first-team All-Big Eight honors.

–Johnson and Wortman were junior college transfers.

–White would earn All-America recognition the next two years.

 

1982

LT – Randy Theiss (St. Louis, Mo.) – 6-3, 256, Sr.

LG – Mike Mandelko (Lexington, Neb.) – 6-2, 255, Sr.

C – Dave Rimington (Omaha, Neb.) – 6-3, 290, Sr.

RG – Dean Steinkuhler (Burr, Neb.) – 6-4, 257, Jr.

RT – Jeff Kwapick (Circle Pines, Minn.) – 6-3, 254, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-3, 262

–Rimington, a three-time first-team All-Big Eight selection and co-captain, earned the Lombardi Award and an unprecedented second Outland Trophy, as well as being both a unanimous All-American and Academic All-American in consecutive years  and finishing fifth in Heisman voting.

–Theiss, a three-year starter like Rimington, also earned first-team all-conference recognition as did Mandelko, a two-year starter.

–Steinkuhler, who moved from left guard to right guard, was timed at :04.97 in the 40-yard dash.

–Kwapick moved to the right side from the left, where he backed up Theiss for two seasons.

 

Scoring Explosion 1983

LT – *Mark Behning (Denton, Texas) – 6-7, 290, Jr.

LG – Harry Grimminger (Grand Island, Neb.) – 6-3, 260, Jr.

C – Mark Traynowicz (Bellevue, Neb.) – 6-6, 260, Jr.

RG – Dean Steinkuhler (Burr, Neb.) – 6-3, 270, Sr.

RT – Scott Raridon (Mason City, Iowa) – 6-3, 280, Sr.

*Started final seven regular-season games in place of injured John Sherlock (6-2, 260, Sr.)

AVERAGE: 6-4½, 278

–Steinkuhler was a consensus All-American and co-captain and earned the Cornhuskers’ third consecutive Outland Trophy.

–Traynowicz moved from right tackle, where he was a back-up as a sophomore, to center, replacing Dave Rimington.

–Traynowicz and Raridon earned first-team All-Big Eight honors along with Steinkuhler.

 

1988

LT – Bob Sledge (Omaha, Neb.) – 6-2, 270, Sr.

LG – Andy Keeler (Omaha, Neb.) – 6-3, 265, Sr.

C – Jake Young (Midland, Texas) – 6-5, 260, Jr.

RG – John Nelson (Minden, Neb.) – 6-1, 260, Sr.

RT – Doug Glaser (Balch Springs, Texas) – 6-7, 295, Jr.

AVERAGE: 6-3½, 270

–Young, the first true sophomore to start in 14 years in 1987 (after lettering at guard as a true freshman), earned consensus All-America and Academic All-America honors.

–Keeler, a co-captain, and Sledge, a transfer from South Dakota, also were second-year starters and first-team All-Big Eight selections.

–Nelson, who walked on, backed up Keeler on the left side the previous season.

 

1989

LT – Tom Punt (Sioux Center, Iowa) – 6-8, 285, Jr.

LG – Jim Wanek (Aurora, Neb.) – 6-1, 245, Jr.

C – Jake Young (Midland, Texas) – 6-4, 270, Sr.

RG – Bill Bobbora (Amarillo, Texas) – 6-3, 265, Sr.

RT – Doug Glaser (Balch Springs, Texas) – 6-7, 295, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-4½, 272

–Young, a three-year starter, earned both All-America and Academic All-America honors for a second consecutive season.

–Glaser, a co-captain, was also a first-team All-Big Eight selection, despite missing three games because of injury, when he was replaced by Erik Wiegert and then Steve Engstrom.

–John Roschal (6-3, 250, Sr.) started the opener at right guard but was sidelined by knee problems, which he battled throughout his career.

 

National Champs 1994

LT – Rob Zatechka (Lincoln, Neb.) – 6-5, 315, Sr.

LG – Joel Wilks (Hastings, Neb.) – 6-3, 280, Sr.

C – Aaron Graham (Denton, Texas) – 6-4, 285, Jr.

RG – Brenden Stai (Yorba Linda, Calif.) – 6-5, 300, Sr.

RT – Zach Wiegert (Fremont, Neb.) – 6-5, 300, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-4½, 296

–Wiegert, a three-time first-team All-Big Eight selection, was a unanimous All-American, the 1994 Outland Trophy winner and finished tied for ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

–Stai was a consensus All-American.

–Zatechka was a two-time Academic All-American, a four-time academic all-conference honoree and co-captain.

–Graham was on the coaches’ All-Big Eight first team.

–Wilks, who walked on, led the team in “pancake” blocks with 142.

 

National Champs 1995

LT – Chris Dishman (Cozad, Neb.) – 6-3, 310, Jr.

LG – Aaron Taylor (Wichita Falls, Texas) – 6-1, 305, So.

C – Aaron Graham (Denton, Texas) – 6-4, 285, Sr.

RG – Steve Ott (Henderson, Neb.) – 6-4, 290, Sr.

RT – Eric Anderson (Lincoln, Neb.) – 6-4, 300, So.

AVERAGE: 6-3, 298

–Graham, a two-time first-team All-Big Eight selection, earned All-America recognition, Academic All-America honors and was a co-captain.

–Dishman, Anderson and Taylor also earned first-team all-conference honors.

–All five interior linemen started every game.

 

1997 National Champs

LT – Fred Pollack (Omaha, Neb.) – 6-4, 305, Sr.

LG – Aaron Taylor (Wichita Falls, Texas) – 6-1, 305, Sr.

C – Josh Heskew (Mustang, Okla.) – 6-3, 290, Jr.

RG – Jon Zatechka (Lincoln, Neb.)  - 6-2, 290, Sr.

RT – Eric Anderson (Lincoln, Neb.) – 6-4, 305, Sr.

AVERAGE: 6-3, 299

–Taylor, a three-time first team all-conference selection and co-captain, won the Outland Trophy and earned unanimous All-America honors after being a consensus All-American center in 1996.

–Anderson, a three-year starter, earned all-conference recognition for a second time.

–Senior Matt Hoskinson (6-1, 280), a walk-on from Battle Creek, Neb., backed up at both center and guard and was regarded as a sixth starter.

–Zatechka was the brother of original Pipeline tackle Rob Zatechka.

(All photos courtesy of University of Nebraska Sports Information.)

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