Among the most memorable plays in Nebraska football history, and certainly in the last 25 seasons, is true freshman wide receiver Mike Stuntz’s 63-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Eric Crouch in the No. 3-ranked Huskers’ 20-10 victory against No. 1 Oklahoma at Memorial Stadium in 2001. It was a signature play in Crouch’s pursuit of Nebraska’s third Heisman Trophy.
Stuntz was recruited as a quarterback, which he played for two seasons as a back-up before being switched to cornerback his last. But he played wide receiver his first, appearing in 10 games. The play, “Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass,” went like this: Crouch pitched to I-back Thunder Collins, a play the Huskers had run earlier, and Collins pitched to the left-handed Stuntz going the other way.
Stuntz came from St. Albert High in Council Bluffs, Iowa, among only four from Nebraska’s neighbor to the east who have accepted scholarships from the Huskers since Tom Osborne’s final season, 1997. The others were Marques Simmons (also 2001), Ben Cotton (2008) and redshirt freshman John Raridon, a member of Mike Riley’s 2016 class – and the son of former Husker Scott Raridon. The 2017 class included Ben Lingenfelter, a walk-on defensive tackle from Cherokee, and the current roster also includes senior Gabe Rahn, who’s in the mix at wide receiver. Rahn walked on from Le Mars.
Nebraska has offered a scholarship to John Waggoner, a 4-star defensive end from West Des Moines Valley considered the best player in the state in the 2018 recruiting class, so the timing might be right for an All-Iowa Husker top-10 list. Stuntz certainly deserves mention but doesn’t make the list, which has what would seem a clear-cut No. 1 in Trev Alberts, whose awards both on the field and in the classroom, particularly as a senior, could fill an introductory section on their own.
After Alberts, as with any such list, there’s room for debate.
10. Van Brownson, QB, Shenandoah (1969-70-71)
Played Brook Berringer-role to Jerry Tagge for three seasons, sharing starts as sophomore and junior
9. Kyle Vanden Bosch, RE, Larchwood (1997-98-99-00)
Second-team All-Big 12 in 2000, two-time first-team Academic All-American, back-up as true freshman on 1997 national championship team
8. Scott Raridon, OT, Mason City (1981-82-83)
All-Big Eight on “Scoring Explosion” line in 1983 after two seasons backing up All-Big Eight honorees Randy Theiss and Dan Hurley
7. Dan Hadenfelt, P, Des Moines (1998-99-00)
Walk-on, All-Big 12 in 2000, Husker career leader, averaging 44.54 yards on 104 punts; ranks third (44.98) and eighth (43.79) on single-season top 10
6. Bill Lewis, C, Sioux City (1983-84-85)
First-team Football News All-American after backing up All-American Mark Traynowicz two seasons
5. Jamie Williams, TE, Davenport (1979-80-81-82)
Two-time first-team All-Big Eight, finished career with 44 catches for 516 yards and seven TDs
4. Todd Millikan, TE, Shenandoah (1985-86-87-88)
First-team All-Big Eight in 1988, 40 catches for 825 yards (20.6) and 14 TDs, career; converted from LB after medical redshirt in 1984
3. LaVerne Allers, OG (1964-65-66), Davenport
Consensus All-American in 1966, two-time first-team All-Big Eight, also wrestling letterwinner
2. Roger Craig, IB, Davenport (1980-81-82), Davenport
All-Big Eight in 1981 before injury-plagued senior year, finished fourth on NU’s career-rushing list with 2,446 (6.01) yards and 26 TDs
1. Trev Alberts, OSLB, Cedar Falls (1990-91-93-93)
NU’s first Butkus Award winner, consensus All-American, Academic All-American and Big Eight Defensive MVP in 1993, NU career-sacks leader with 29.5
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.