Nebraska has had a consistent recruiting presence in Florida of late. Since 2005, the Huskers have signed nearly 30 scholarship recruits out of a total of 43 since Tom Osborne’s first year as head coach in 1973. According to available records, 1973 is also the first year a Floridian, Wonder Monds, earned a Husker football letter after transferring from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Monds, among three Nebraska football players from Florida to earn All-America recognition, is included on this top-10 list of Florida Huskers. Unlike states such as Texas and California, Nebraska hasn’t recruited enough players to compile an All-Florida team. Only a handful of linemen have come from there, and some of those haven’t stayed, including offensive tackle Tyler Moore, the son of former Husker Brian Moore. Tyler arrived early from Clearwater and started the first four games in 2011 as a true freshman, the first true freshman to start a season-opener in Nebraska’s offensive line since the NCAA restored freshman eligibility in 1972, then transferred to Florida.
Quarterback Harrison Beck, also from Countryside High in Clearwater and among the most publicized recruits during Bill Callahan’s tenure as head coach in 2005, left just a couple of days into fall camp his sophomore year, reportedly unhappy with the snaps he got in practice.
In any case, Nebraska’s 2017 roster includes eight Floridians. So here’s a top-10 list of Huskers from the “Sunshine State.”
10. Kevin Maurice, DT, Orlando (2013-14-15)
Started every game last season and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention, one start in 2014
9. Steve Octavien, LB, Naples (2006-07)
William Rainey Harper College transfer, injury redshirt, led team with 92 tackles as a senior
8. Mike Grant, QB, Tampa (1989-90-92)
Plagued by injuries, redshirt in 1991, five starts in 1992 before giving way to Tommie Frazier
7. Armando Murillo, CB, Tampa (2007-08)
Eastern Arizona Community College transfer, two-year starter
6. Shevin Wiggins, WB, Palmetto (1996-97-98)
Foot deflection against Missouri in 1997 national championship season earns him this spot
5. Tyrone Williams, CB, Palmetto (1993-94-95)
Three-year starter, first-team All-Big Eight on two national championship teams
4. Fabian Washington, CB, Bradenton (2002-03-04)
Thirty-five career starts, including 33 in a row, first-round NFL draft pick after his junior season
3. Wonder Monds, DB, Fort Pierce (1973-74-75)
Two-year starter at monster back, FWAA All-American in 1975
2. Lavonte David, LB, Miami (2010-11)
All-America honors in 2011, fourth all-time in tackles with 285, 28 for losses, 11.5 sacks
1. Tommie Frazier, Bradenton (1992-93-94-95)
All-American, second in Heisman voting in 1995, two national titles, four-year starter
Mike is in his 40th year covering Husker athletics, after seven years of community-college teaching. He has written and edited a dozen books, all on Nebraska football except one, a brief history of Husker basketball. He previously wrote for the Lincoln Journal and Star and Huskers Illustrated. He enjoys music, from the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson to Van Morrison, Bob Wills, Glenn Miller and pretty much anyone else.