Three Nebraska football greats are among 76 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision announced as finalists Monday for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Huskers on the 2019 ballot for induction into the Hall of Fame include Heisman-winning quarterback Eric Crouch, and a pair of Outland Trophy winning offensive linemen in Zach Wiegert and Larry Jacobson.
Crouch is on the ballot for the eighth straight year, Wiegert is making his fourth appearance on the ballot and Jacobson is a new addition to the Hall of Fame ballot. The 2019 class will be announced on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. on the day of the College Football Playoff championship game.
Crouch would become the second Husker quarterback in the College Hall of Fame, joining Tommie Frazier, who was part of the 2013 class. Crouch became Nebraska’s third Heisman Trophy winner in 2001 after leading the Huskers to the National Championship game. An option-based quarterback out of Omaha’s Millard North High School, Crouch set the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 59, and he amassed 7,915 yards of total offense in his career. A consensus All-American in 2001, Crouch also reeled in the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Sporting News Offensive Player of the Year award during his senior campaign. His No. 7 jersey was retired by Nebraska in 2002.
Jacobson was a stalwart on Nebraska’s first national title teams in 1970 and 1971. A consensus first-team All-American in 1971, Jacobson on the Outland trophy as a senior, as he tallied 73 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss to become the program’s first major award winner. He led the Blackshirts to top-five national rankings in rush defense (85.9, second), total defense (202.9, fifth) and scoring defense (8.2, third) en route to a 13-0 record and a second straight national title. During his three seasons at Nebraska, the Sioux Falls, S.D., product led the Huskers to a 33-2-1 mark with two national titles and three conference crowns. His No. 75 jersey was retired in 1994.
Wiegert was a 1994 unanimous first-team All-American and is one of eight Huskers to win the Outland Trophy. A native of Fremont, Neb., Wiegert helped lead the Huskers to 1994 National Championship after NU played in the 1993 title game. The Huskers averaged 340 yards per game on the ground in 1994, and Wiegert led Nebraska with 113 pancake blocks. He even earned one first-place vote for the Heisman, finishing tied for ninth with 27 points. In addition to winning the Outland, he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, a consensus All-American, the UPI Lineman of the Year and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Offensive Lineman of the Year. His No. 72 jersey was retired before the 1995 season.
Aaron Taylor will became the 18th Nebraska player in the College Football Hall of Fame, as he will be inducted this December in New York City, joining recent Husker enshrines Trev Albers (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011) and Grant Wistrom (2009).