How loud had the clamoring gotten for Tommie Frazier to get into the College Football Hall of Fame?
Loud enough that Atlanta resident (home of the new hall of fame) and the nation’s most famous college football blogger, Spencer Hall, tweeted this earlier this year:
I know it’s me being a terrible ATLien, but I’m not spending a dime at the CFB Hall of Fame until they induct Tommie goddamn Frazier.
— edsbs (@edsbs) March 8, 2013
And Hall is a Florida alum. Tommie Frazier destroyed his team in 1996. Maybe that actually made the support more understandable.
The uproar, both locally and otherwise, ended on Tuesday. Eight years after becoming eligible, Frazier finally got in. He will become the 15th Nebraska player in the Hall of Fame when this year’s class is officially inducted at a ceremony in New York City on Dec. 10, 2013. There are also six coaches with Nebraska ties in the hall.
There are no shortage of facts and figures that accurately portray Frazier’s greatness, but two have always stuck out to me: 1) The 33-3 record as a starter speaks for itself, and 2) Frazier became the first true freshman to ever start at quarterback at Nebraska. He won, first and foremost, and he was extraordinarily gifted. Those things don’t always go hand-in-hand.
“Tommie was better prepared to start as a freshman than any quarterback we had,” Tom Osborne said. “That’s not easy to do, but he was unusually mature and competitive. He had played at a high level in front of big crowds in high school, so going out and playing in a major college game was not intimidating to him.”
Frazier’s famous run against Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl has been all over the Internet since yesterday, but, amazing as that was, this career retrospective clip gives you a better idea of what exactly it was that made Frazier so special:
As Osborne said after the announcement, Frazier was a “natural option quarterback.”
Probably the best option quarterback and clips like the one above show you why. Was there ever a quarterback who could plant a foot and get vertical more quickly than Frazier? The acceleration continues to amaze, as does the zip on the football when he was asked to throw. His feet were uncommon gifts.
And the Hall of Fame voters finally came to their senses.
“This is quite an honor,” Frazier said. “You never play the game and think you are going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. You just go out and try to be the best you can be and whatever happens, happens. I was fortunate that good things happened, but it certainly was not me alone. I had great teammates and coaches that played a big part in this honor.”