Even though Nebraska has never had a heavy recruiting presence in New Jersey – since 1973, only 33 Husker scholarship recruits have called it home – five Husker All-Americans, including three who have earned recognition twice, have been from there. Four of Nebraska’s five national championship teams included at least one starter from New Jersey, and three included at least two.
Identifying a No. 1 in a New Jersey Husker top 10 would require a flip of the coin to pick between Mike Rozier and Rich Glover, both of whom are in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Both earned All-America honors twice, including once unanimous. Rozier, a three-time, first-team All-Big Eight honoree, was the Heisman Trophy winner in 1983 and holds the Husker career-rushing record with 4,780 yards in just three seasons, at a time when bowl games weren’t included in official NCAA statistics. He also holds school career records for yards-per- carry (7.16) and 100-yard- rushing games (26). He was twice named Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year.
Glover, who played on Nebraska’s first two national championship teams, won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award, the first Husker to win both, and finished third behind teammate Johnny Rodgers in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1972, when he led the team in tackles (110) and tackles for loss (10). He was the American Football Coaches Defensive Player of the Year that season as well. He was a Lombardi Award finalist as a junior, when teammate Larry Jacobson won the Outland.
So which one should be first and which second? It probably comes down to whether your preference is offense or defense. That said, here’s a top 10 of Huskers from the “Garden State.”
10. Jeff Mills, OSLB, Montclair, (1987-88- 89)
Two-year starter, first-team All-Big Eight and co-captain in 1989
9. Charles Fryar, CB, Burlington (1986-87- 88)
Three-year starter, first-team All-Big Eight in 1988, second-team in 1987; Irving Fryar’s cousin
8. Jammal Lord, QB, Bayonne (2000-01- 02-03)
Finished third at NU with 5,421 career total offense yards, including 2,573 rushing; 27 consecutive starts
7. Christian Peter, DT, Locust (1993-94- 95)
Starter on two national championship teams, first-team All-Big Eight and co-captain in 1995
6. Barron Miles, CB, Roselle (1992-93- 94)
Two-time, first-team All-Big Eight, finished with single-season and career records for pass break-ups (13-19) and blocked punts (4-7)
5. Irving Fryar, WB, Mt. Holly (1981-82- 83)
Finished career second to Johnny Rodgers in receiving yards (1,196); also returned punts, unanimous All-American in 1983
4. Daryl White, OT, East Orange (1971-72- 73)
Three-year starter, including on 1971 national championship team; two-time All-America honors, co-captain in 1973
3. Jason Peter, DT, Locust (1994-95- 96-97)
Three-year starter, played on three national-championship teams, consensus All-American and co-captain in 1997
T-1. Rich Glover, MG, Jersey City (1970-71- 72)
Twenty-two tackles in the “Game of the Century,” lining up against an All-America center; two-time All-American
T-1. Mike Rozier, IB, Camden (1981-82- 83)
Holds NCAA single-season record (214-281 rushes), averaging nearly 8 yards (7.81) per carry in 1983; NU career rushing leader
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.