When you’re great, you get a statue and Nebraska will unveil a new one outside of the newly renovated East Stadium on Friday afternoon.
This one for Bob Devaney, the man who laid the foundation for Nebraska football, and Memorial Stadium, to become the modern monolith that it is today.
“This is Memorial Stadium’s 90th anniversary season, and we wanted to recognize the man who’s widely considered the one who really built this stadium from the 36,000-seat facility it was when he arrived in Lincoln in 1962,” Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement. “With the stadium’s anniversary, the dedication of the expanded East Stadium and the fact that Wyoming and Nebraska were the only two schools that Bob Devaney ever served as head football coach, we thought this was the perfect time to honor his tremendous legacy.”
The statue by Omaha artist Joe Putjenter, which will reside in the new East Stadium Plaza, will be unveiled today at 4 pm CT. The public is invited to attend. Mike and Rob Devaney, Bob’s son and grandson respectively, will be on hand for the ceremony, but Mike’s already done a good job of summarizing Devaney’s impact on the state of Nebraska in this story from Randy York:
“…I think it’s true that dad’s legacy isn’t really about football. It’s about a man coming into a state that had a little bit of an inferiority complex and showing everyone that they could compete with the best of teams from California to New York. All of a sudden, there they are. They won, and they won on their own terms. There was no handout. My dad always felt that if he hadn’t done that, somebody else would have because Nebraska has the hardest working people in the country. To him, it was never personal. He loved this state, and it loved him.”
(Photo via NU Sports Information)
West Mesquite (Texas) defensive end Demarya Mixon, a member of Nebraska’s 2013 recruiting class who failed to qualify, has been granted a scholarship release and won’t be playing for the Huskers in the future. But there are other teams interested. Good teams.
“I love Nebraska and the fans and the coaches but I’ve got to move on from that situation and do what’s best for me,” Mixon told 247Sports.com. His list of schools he’d like to visit includes Oregon, Boise State, Auburn, Arkansas and Wisconsin.
The Huskers ’13 class included four defensive ends after signing day in February, but it’s now down to two — freshman A.J. Natter and JUCO transfer Randy Gregory — following the departure of Mixon and the dismissal of Ernest Suttles this summer.
That puts some added importance on today’s announcement from 2014 recruit Peyton Newell, a three-star defensive end from Hiawatha, Kan. Newell received more than 30 scholarship offer, but has whittled it down to four finalists: Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina. He’ll announce his decision today at around 2:30 pm CT.
The Huskers have long been thought to be in the lead for Newell’s services and, given the Mixon news, Nebraska now needs some more bodies up front.
Who is Thatcher Vap?
He’s more than just a great footballing name, he’s the only native Nebraskan on the Wyoming roster. The North Platte St. Partrick’s product, a sophomore defensive back for the Cowboys, dreamed of playing for the Huskers. His mom, Kelly, lettered for the NU swim team and both his grandparents went to school in Lincoln. But the Nebraska offer for Thatcher never came.
“I read somewhere that recruiting in Nebraska is difficult [for out-of-state teams] because the kids bleed Husker red. Well, there are a lot of kids that don’t even get looked at by the University of Nebraska,” Kelly Vap said. “It’s kind of a crying shame, actually, because there are players like Thatcher all over the state that would love to go to Nebraska, but no one thinks they would even stand a chance there.
“Thatcher thought he could have if they would have looked at him.”
Keep your eye out for No. 33 on Saturday. He’ll be living out a dream of sorts. A bittersweet dream, yes, but still a dream.
The Grab Bag
Vanderbilt defensive end Caleb Azubike freaked everyone out last night with his eyes … Minnesota returned a kickoff, blocked field goal and an interception for touchdowns in the second half of the Gophers’ game with UNLV last night, making the 51-23 victory over the Rebels look more dominating than it actually was. UNLV, the 90th-ranked offense nationally last season, put up 419 yards on the Gophers and recorded 21 first downs … More of the same from Indiana on Thursday as the Hoosiers raced to 73 points and 29 first downs, but also gave up five touchdowns to Indiana State, an FCS team. Two of those Sycamores touchdowns came off turnovers, however, so maybe there’s hope for this Hoosiers defense yet … Jerry Sandusky isn’t happy that Penn State is settling with victims … Nebraska has the fourth-highest average ticket price in all of college football according to Forbes.