LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Dec. 26)–The Nebraska football team was well represented on the ESPN All-Time All-American Team that was announced on Thursday morning, with three Husker greats and Nebraska natives receiving recognition.
Johnny Rodgers, the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner, was named to the first-team as an all-purpose standout. Center Dave Rimington and guard Dean Steinkuhler, a pair of Outland and Lombardi winning offensive lineman from the 1980s, comprised two of the five spots on the second-team offensive line.
The all-time team was part of ESPN’s yearlong celebration of the 150th Anniversary of college football.
Rodgers was one of the most electrifying players in the history of college football. Nebraska’s first Heisman Trophy winner, Rodgers was also named the Walter Camp Player of the Year in 1972. A two-time first-team All-American, Rodgers ended his career with NCAA career records for all-purpose yards (5,487), punt return touchdowns (7), kick return touchdowns (9) and yards per touch (13.8). He set more than 40 school records at Nebraska.
Rodgers helped Nebraska to a 32-2-2 record in his three seasons, including back-to-back national championships in 1970 and 1971. He was a 2000 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The only player ever to win the Outland Trophy in consecutive years (1981 and 1982), Rimington is one of the most decorated offensive linemen in college football history. The Omaha native was a two-time first-team All-American in 1981 and 1982 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
A three-time first-team All-Big Eight choice from 1980 to 1982, Rimington was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year in 1981, marking the only time in conference history that a lineman earned the prestigious honor. Rimington helped the Huskers win back-to-back Big Eight titles in 1981 and 1982, as Nebraska led the nation in rushing during his senior season. He capped his senior season by winning the 1982 Lombardi Award. In 1999, Rimington was selected to the Walter Camp All-Century team.
Among the top offensive linemen ever to play at Nebraska, Steinkuhler anchored a line that paved the way for the nation’s leading rushing offense in 1983 before sweeping the top awards presented to linemen. Steinkuhler won both the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy, awarded to the outstanding interior player and top lineman in the country, respectively. He helped create holes for Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, who became only the second player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season in 1983.
Steinkuhler was named to nearly every All-American list in 1983, giving his hometown of Burr (population 110) the distinction of being the smallest town at the time to ever produce a consensus All-American. More recently, Steinkuhler was one of six Huskers named to Sports Illustrated’s 85-player All-Century Team, joining Rodgers, Rozier, Rich Glover, Tommie Frazier and Aaron Taylor.