Nebraska’s 2017 recruiting class included three from Texas, a return to tradition you might say. The 2016 class didn’t include a Texas recruit, something that hadn’t happened since 1983.
For 31 consecutive seasons, the Huskers signed at least one player from high-school-talent-rich Texas, including a high of nine in 2008 and a combined 29 from 2007 to 2010.
Clearly, Nebraska has recruited enough football players from Texas to put together an all-time Husker team from the “Lone Star” state, which has produced more out-of-state football All-Americans at Nebraska than any other state, 10, including three who earned All-America honors twice.
All five interior offensive linemen were among the 10, as well as tight end Junior Miller, about whom Kansas State Coach Jim Dickey said: “If that’s ‘Junior’ I’d hate to see ‘Senior Miller.’”
Rather than pick between two All-America centers, Jake Young – from Midland, like Miller – is listed at guard, the position he played only as a freshman. In addition, Broderick Thomas and Travis Hill are listed as “defensive ends,” though they were outside linebackers in the Huskers’ defensive alignment.
Thomas, nicknamed “Sandman” and the “Master of Disaster,” was adamant that he was a linebacker not a defensive end. When he arrived in 1985, he was listed as a “defensive end.” By his senior season, the description of his position was changed to “outside linebacker.”
There should be no debate about the inclusion of those who earned All-America honors, but in situations such as this, the conversation sometimes focuses on who’s missing rather than who’s included. For example, Turner Gill gets the nod at quarterback, though a strong case could be made for Tommy Armstrong Jr. when considering career numbers. Gill directed the “Scoring Explosion” offense in 1983, however, as a member of the Barry Switzer-named “Triplets,” along with I-back Mike Rozier and wingback Irving Fryar – All-Americans from New Jersey – and was a key figure in Coach Tom Osborne’s move to the option-oriented offense that produced three national championships.
Sometimes, the flip of a coin is needed, and there’s always room for disagreement.
WR – Terrence Nunn, Houston (2004-05-06-07)
Ranks 5th in career receptions (136) and receiving yards (1,768)
WR – Jamal Turner, Arlington (2011-12-13-15)
Recruited as QB, quickly moved, tied for 16th all-time in receptions
OT – Kelvin Clark, Odessa (1976-77-78)
Two-year starter, consensus All-American in 1978
OT – Doug Glaser, Balch Springs (1987-88-89)
Two-year starter, Walter Camp All-American in 1989
OG – Aaron Taylor, Wichita Falls (1994-95-96-97)
Outland Trophy winner and All-America guard in 1997, All-America center in 1996
OG – *Jake Young, Midland (1986-87-88-89)
Two-time consensus All-American, first Husker o-lineman to letter as true freshman
C – Aaron Graham, Denton (1992-93-94-95)
Only o-line starter on both 1994 and 1995 national-title teams, All-American in 1995
TE – Junior Miller, Midland (1977-78-79)
Two-time, first-team All-Big Eight, unanimous All-American in 1979
QB – Turner Gill, Fort Worth (1981-82-83)
Three-time, first-team All-Big Eight, 28-2 as a starter, 20-0 in conference starts
RB – Rex Burkhead, Plano (2009-10-11-12)
All-Big Ten in 2012, sixth in career rushing, 3,339 yards (5.24) and 30 TDs
RB – Richard Berns, Wichita Falls (1976-77-78)
All-Big Eight in 1978, finished as Nebraska’s career-rushing leader, now 19th
PK – Kris Brown, Southlake (1995-96-97-98)
Second in career-scoring, 388 points, total doesn’t count 36 points in bowls
*Moved to center following his freshman season and earned All-America honors there.
DE – Broderick Thomas, Houston (1985-86-87-88)
Two-time All-American, Butkus Award and Lombardi Award finalist in 1988
DE – Travis Hill, Pearland (1989-90-91-92)
Three-year starter, All-American and Huskers’ leading tackler in 1992
DT – Kenny Walker, Crane (1989-90)
Though deaf, earned All-America recognition in 1990, among the fastest Huskers at the time
DT – David Clark, Odessa (1978-79-80)
UTEP transfer, first-team All-Big Eight in 1980, Kelvin Clark’s brother
LB – Demorrio Williams, Beckville (2002-03)
Juco transfer, first-team All-Big 12, 128 tackles including 11 sacks and 21 for losses in 2003
LB – T.J. Hollowell, Copperas Cove (2000-01-02-03)
All-Big 12 honorable mention, Huskers’ third-leading tackler in 2003
LB – Octavious McFarlin, Bastrop (1994-95-96-97)
Moved from rover to start at linebacker on 1997 national-title team
CB – Keyuo Craver, Harleton (1998-99-2000-01)
Three-year starter, All-America honors in 2001, also three letters as triple-jumper
CB – Ciante Evans, Arlington (2010-11-12-13)
Started two-and-a-half seasons, first-team All-Big Ten 2013
S – Joe Walker, Arlington (1997-98-99-2000)
Tied NCAA record with TDs on punt, kickoff and interception returns in 1998
S – Sammy Sims, Lubbock (1979-80-81)
All-Big Eight recognition in 1981, when Huskers led the nation in pass defense
P – Byron Bennett, Rowlett (1990-91-92-93)
Three-year starting place-kicker, all-conference honorable mention punter 1993
Check out Nebraska’s All-Time All-California team here.
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.