Friday, December 23, 2005

Bay Area Huskers E-News 12-23-05

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and Holiday Greetings!

Lots of stuff to pass along, so I'll try to be as quick as St. Nick. The big news since my last email was the volleyball team's run at another national title, but the Washington Huskies were the better team in the finals. Congratulations to our team...they not only had a great season, but our coach was named Coach of the Year, 4 of the team were All-Americans and Christina Houghtelling was named the NCAA Player of the Year..way to go! And don't forget to gather at your favorite watch site next Wednesday to watch the Huskers take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Alamo Bowl. Details below.
Go Big Red (I knew Santa was a Husker fan!),


And please say a prayer for all of those in harm's way who are away from their families this holiday season, and protecting our ability to celebrate in peace.

Watch Parties for the Alamo Bowl...
Looks like our watch sites will be active next Wednesday night (28th) for the Alamo Bowl. Steve Curry is trying to generate a red-clad group at Final-Final in San Francisco, and Jack's Brewing Company in Fremont will have the big screen on for Husker fans who can make it there for the 5 p.m. start time. Go Huskers...beat Michigan!

Our chapter has been without a website for over a year, but thanks to Brian Dehning's efforts (one of our alumni chapter board members and now webmaster), we once again have a very nice and easy to use website. Take a look and provide him with any suggestions or comments you may have through the email link on the website. Here's the link: THANKS BRIAN!!!


GREAT LETTER ABOUT UNK's FAN SUPPORT AND HOSPITALITY (see attached PDF File)...thanks Duane!UNK%20Letter.pdf
I hope you can download the attachment...very nice piece.


The Nebraska football team left Lincoln Thursday morning for San Antonio to continue preparations for the 2005 Alamo Bowl.

Lincoln - The Nebraska football team left Lincoln on Thursday morning to begin its on-site preparations for the 2005 Alamo Bowl next week. The Huskers will call San Antonio home from Dec. 23 through Dec. 28. Nebraska (7-4) will meet the Michigan Wolverines (7-4) on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5 p.m. PST in the Alamodome. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.

For a complete schedule of Nebraska events in San Antonio, game notes, updated player biographies and a complete review of the Huskers' 2005 season, click here for a link to the Nebraska Alamo Bowl Media Guide.

For more information on the Huskers, click here to read transcripts of Nebraska's pre-bowl press conference in Lincoln, which includes quotes from Husker Head Coach Bill Callahan and select Nebraska players.


Lance Brandenburgh has seen action in seven games this season, including the past six contests, while backing up Bo Ruud.

LINCOLN – The Nebraska football team continued its preparations leading up to the Dec. 28 Alamo Bowl matchup against Michigan Tuesday with a two-hour practice inside Cook Pavilion.

Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove addressed the media following the workout, mostly covering the topic of which Husker will replace injured WILL linebacker Bo Ruud, who suffered a broken arm during Sunday’s practice.

Cosgrove said that sophomore Lance Brandenburgh has been named the starter for the Alamo Bowl, while freshman Jeff Souder will move into the top backup position. Cosgrove said that Brandenburgh is more than capable of filling the starter’s role, as he challenged for the starting nod during fall camp before suffering an injury.

“We have been very fortunate that no matter what the situation was this year, our guys stepped up, and I fully expect Lance to do the same thing,” Cosgrove said. “Lance would have been in the mix from day one had he not been injured. He is a good football player.”

The Huskers should feel fortunate to be in a position where they can insert an athlete of Brandenburgh’s caliber into the starting lineup following an injury, Cosgrove said.

“We don’t have to worry about what we are doing, because we have a guy that has a lot of ability, has good football intelligence and is a physical guy that is very athletic,” Cosgrove said. “We are very fortunate to be in that position, considering I don’t think there are many schools in the country that lose three starting linebackers in one year and still have backups come in and give you what you need.”

In the event that NU needs to use a third-string player at the position, sophomore starting MIKE linebacker Corey McKeon will move over to WILL, and freshman Phillip Dillard will play in the middle. Cosgrove added that McKeon has the ability to play all three positions, if necessary.


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Nebraska practiced inside the Cook Pavilion on Friday afternoon as preparations continued for the Alamo Bowl.
Nebraska continued its practice for the Alamo Bowl with a two-hour workout on Friday afternoon, and for the first time in a full team practice the Huskers utilized the new Championship Indoor Center for the workout.

Husker players have been inside the building on several previous occasions for conditioning workouts and developmental practices, but had not had a full team workout in the Championship Indoor Center until Friday.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove addressed the media following practice and discussed a Michigan offense that will present Nebraska with a stern test. He specifically discussed Wolverine sophomore quarterback Chad Henne.

“He was a freshman All-American last year,” Cosgrove said. “He is an outstanding quarterback. He has a strong arm and gets the ball out quickly.”

Cosgrove also compliment Michigan wide receiver Jason Avant, who leads the team with 74 receptions, calling the senior a “big-time receiver”.

Nebraska will continue its early preparations for the Dec. 28 Alamo Bowl against Michigan this weekend. The Huskers will work out early Saturday afternoon and will hit the practice field again on Sunday, before taking Monday off. Nebraska is set to depart for San Antonio on Friday, Dec. 23.


Houston place-kicker Kris Brown was 3-for-3 on field goals and connected on all three of his extra point attempts.
Week 15 of National Football League action was highlighted by dominant performances from a former Husker specialist and several former Blackshirts.

Houston place-kicker Kris Brown was 3-for-3 on field goals and connected on all three of his extra point attempts, as the Texans defeated the Cardinals, 30-19. Brown connected on field goals of 26, 27 and 41 yards in helping Houston earn its second victory of the season. Offensive tackle Zach Wiegert started for the Texans in the win.

Defensive end Grant Wistrom recorded four tackles in Seattle’s 28-24 win over Tennessee. Place-kicker Josh Brown connected on all four of his extra point attempts for the Seahawks while missing on his only field goal try. Titans' defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch recorded two tackles in the losing effort. Vanden Bosch’s season sack total remained 12.5, a figure that places him tied for second among the NFL leaders in that category. With its 10th consecutive win, Seattle improved to 12-2 on the year and clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay rookie linebacker Barrett Ruud recorded three tackles in the Buccaneers’ 28-0 loss to the Patriots. Center Russ Hochstein logged his third straight start for New England in the win. The Patriots improved to a division-clinching 9-5 on the year with their third consecutive win, while the Buccaneers, 9-5, fell one game back on the Panthers for the NFC South Division lead.

Kansas City cornerback Eric Warfield recorded four tackles in the Chiefs’ 27-17 loss to the Giants. Offensive guard Will Shields recorded his 205th consecutive start for the Chiefs as Kansas City lost its second game in a row, falling to 8-6 on the year.

Defensive end Chris Kelsay had two tackles for Buffalo in the Bills’ 28-17 loss to the Broncos.

Cornerback DeJuan Groce started for St. Louis, recording two tackles and intercepting a third-quarter pass, in the Rams’ 17-16 loss to the Eagles.

Safety Mike Minter recorded five tackles and had a second-quarter interception that set up a field goal in the Panthers’ 27-10 win over the Saints. Carolina defensive end Mike Rucker recovered a fourth-quarter fumble in the victory. Rookie safety Josh Bullocks recorded six tackles for New Orleans in the loss. Carolina improved to a division-leading 10-4 on the season.

Vikings' cornerback Ralph Brown recorded one tackle in Minnesota's 18-3 loss to Pittsburgh. The loss was the Vikings' first in seven games, and dropped the team to 8-6 on the season.

Jets’ defensive end Trevor Johnson played but did not record any statistics in New York’s 24-20 loss to Miami.

Bengals' punter Kyle Larson punted once for 51 yards in Cincinnati's 41-17 win over Detroit. The win was Cincinnati’s fourth straight and improved the Bengals to a division-clinching 11-3 record. Lions’ fullback Cory Schlesinger had one reception for eight yards in the loss. Dominic Raiola started the contest at center for Detroit.

Rookie cornerback Fabian Washington recorded four tackles for Oakland in the Raiders’ 9-7 loss to the Browns.

Linebacker Scott Shanle recorded five tackles in the Cowboys’ 35-7 loss to the Redskins. With the loss, Dallas fell to 8-6 on the year.

Atlanta linebacker Demorrio Williams turned in another solid performance for the Falcons, recording six tackles during the Falcons’ 16-3 loss to the Bears. Williams' team-leading season tackle total is now 119, a figure that ranks eighth in the NFL. Safety Mike Brown was out injured in the Bears’ loss.

Overall, a total of 33 former Huskers are on NFL rosters, including three players on injured reserve and three players on NFL practice squads. A total of 27 former Huskers are currently on active rosters.


Courtesy: UNL Photographic Services
Shields will be making his 11th straight trip the Pro Bowl.
Former Husker greats Will Shields and Mike Brown were honored with trips to the 2006 Pro Bowl when rosters were announced Wednesday. The game, which will pit the best players from AFC against the best from the NFC, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 in Hawaii.

Shields, an offensive guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, will be making his 11th straight trip the Pro Bowl, the record for the longest streak of Pro Bowl appearances in Chiefs’ history. Shields’ 11th overall selection to the Pro Bowl is also a franchise record for the most Pro Bowl or AFL All-Star game appearances in Chiefs history.

Shields has started 205 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL, dating back to the second game of his rookie season in ‘93. Those 205 straight starts are also the third-longest streak in NFL history dating back to ‘70. He has also appeared in 206 games, ranking second in Chiefs history.

Brown, a strong safety for the Chicago Bears, returned after missing the final 14 games last season with a torn Achilles' tendon to lead the Bears’ secondary with 89 tackles. The sixth-year pro also has three interceptions, one of which he returned 41 yards for a touchdown against the Lions to extend his club record for career defensive touchdowns to six.

"He means quite a bit to our team," Bears’ Head Coach Lovie Smith said of Brown. "He's the quarterback of the defense back in the secondary, a spiritual and vocal leader who's a good football player. It's good to see that he's recognized that way."

For complete Pro Bowl rosters, visit

Gill Gets Buffalo Job
Former NU assistant will leave Packers

Former Nebraska assistant coach Turner Gill has accepted the head coaching job at the University of Buffalo ..
Gill will coach in the Mid-American conference where former NU head coach Frank Solich coaches Miami (OH.).


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
The Huskers were honored Sunday afternoon when they returned to Lincoln.
Lincoln – The Nebraska volleyball team was welcomed home on Sunday, as a crowd of nearly 300 greeting Huskers following their NCAA runner-up finish in San Antonio.

The Huskers, who returned to Lincoln early Sunday afternoon, were escorted by a police escort to the Coliseum, where they were joined by fans and honored for athletic and academic accomplishments during the season, which included a 33-2 record, the Big 12 and regional title and the school’s third runner-up finish. Off the court, the program had two first-team Academic All-Americans and six academic all-Big 12 award winners.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman opened the ceremony by proclaiming the week of Dec. 18-24 to be “Husker Volleyball Week” across the state in honor of the Nebraska volleyball program.
In addition to the proclamation, University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, who came down to San Antonio to watch Saturday’s championship match and present Melissa Elmer with her diploma, Athletic Director Steve Pederson, Head Coach John Cook and the Husker captains all addressed the crowd and thanked the crowd for its support throughout the season.

Cook noted that nearly 5,000 Husker fans that traveled down to San Antonio for the NCAA championships, while Christina Houghtelling spoke for the team congratulating Elmer and fellow senior co-captain Jennifer Saleaumua on outstanding careers.

“It is overwhelming,” Cook following the ceremony. “When they told us about the ceremony this morning, we thought it would just be a couple of people when we got back to the airport, but to have the University president, the chancellor and the governor here along with all of the fans shows that there was a lot of preparation and effort into this event. It takes the sting off of last night’s loss, and makes you feel honored to be a part of Nebraska Athletics.”


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Nebraska finished its season with a 33-2 record and the program's third NCAA Runner-up finish.
San Antonio, Texas – Behind 15 kills from tournament MVP Christal Morrison, third-ranked Washington dashed top-ranked Nebraska’s hopes for a third national title with a 30-26, 30-25, 30-26 sweep of top-ranked Nebraska Saturday evening at the Alamodome.

Morrison’s 15-kill effort led the Huskies (32-1) to the school’s first national crown, while ending the Huskers’ season at 33-2 and the school’s third runner-up finish (also 1986 and 1990). The Huskers fell one win short of becoming only the third in NCAA history to go wire-to-wire at No. 1.

All-Americans Sarah Pavan and Jennifer Saleaumua paced Nebraska’s effort, as the duo combined for 28 kills on .450 hitting. Pavan totaled a match-high 16 kills on .429 hitting, while Saleaumua closed out a sterling career with 12 kills – one off her season high’s on .545 hitting and nine digs.

The match also marked the final appearance of three-time All-American Melissa Elmer, who had seven kills and five blocks as Nebraska was held to a season-low .185 hitting. Christina Hougtelling, who earned national player-of-the-year honors on Friday, was the third Husker to total double figures in kills with 10 kills, 11 digs and a career-high six blocks.

Pavan, Saleaumua and Houghtelling were each named to the championship all-tournament team.

Nebraska, which was out-hit for the first time in 2005, had more kills and blocks, out-blocking the Huskies, 14-13, behind nine blocks by middle blocker Tracy Stalls. The Huskers were done in by a rash of errors, committing 24 attack errors and nine service errors, compared to just one service miscue by Washington.

Washington took advantage of several Husker miscues in taking a 30-26 victory in the opener. Both teams held each other in check, as neither team hit over .100 while the two teams combined for 42 digs and 11 blocks. NU had seven blocks, including five by Stalls, but totaled only 12 kills and had eight attack errors and five service errors.

The Huskers started out slow, as the Huskies scored the first two points and forced a quick NU timeout. Nebraska regained itself with strong serving, using a 10-5 run to build a three-point lead on a Sarah Pavan ace, the third ace by Nebraska in game one. Leading 12-11, Washington took advantage of several Husker errors, as they scored four straight points to take a 15-12 advantage.

Nebraska kept trimming the deficit, pulling to within 21-19 after a block by Stalls and Houghtelling, but Washington responded with a 4-1 spurt to make it 25-20 after a Darla Myhre kill off an overpass. The Huskers fought back, pulling to within 27-25 off a Washington error, but could not get further into the Husky lead.

In game two, Washington’s offense came alive, as the Huskies out-hit Nebraska, .350-.196 in taking a 30-26 victory. Morrison did most of the damage for UW, totaling six kills and four blocks, as NU was out-blocked 5.5-2.0. Saleaumua and Pavan combined for 11 kills on 17 swings, as Saleaumua had six kills on eight swings.

Leading 6-5, Morrison led Washington on a 6-2 run with three kills and a block, as her kill gave the Huskies a 12-7 advantage. Nebraska battled back, pulling within 18-16 on a Houghtelling kill, but Morrison led UW to six straight points, as she totaled three kills and a block, including consecutive kills that made it 24-16 in favor of Washington.

Trailing 27-20, Saleaumua led the Husker comeback, as NU scored four unanswered points, including three off the serve of freshman Rachel Schwartz, to get within 27-24. That would be as close as Nebraska would get, as Washington closed out game two and took a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.

The Huskers came out swinging in game three as junior setter Dani Busboom sparked Nebraska to a 5-1 lead and forced Washington into taking a timeout. NU led 18-15, but Washington answered with three straight points, including consecutive kills by Morrison that tied the score. After the Huskies took their first lead of the game at 20-19, Nebraska fought back and took its final lead of the match at 23-22 on a kill from Pavan. The Huskies answered with three straight points and closed the game on an 8-2 run to claim their first-ever national championship.

Washington hit .237 as a team and was paced by Christal Morrison, who had 15 kills and was named Most Outstanding Player. Sanja Tomasevic and Brie Haggerty also finished in double figures, totaling 12 and 10 kills respectively. The sweep by the Huskies marked the first time since the 2002 season that NU had been swept and only the third time in Head Coach John Cook’s six years at NU.


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Melissa Elmer led the Huskers in kills for the first time this season, posting a match-high 13 kills on just 17 swings.
San Antonio – Senior All-American Melissa Elmer led three players in double-figure kills by pounding a match-high 13 kills on .647 hitting – tying for the fourth-best postseason mark in NU history – as the No. 1 Nebraska volleyball team advanced to the fifth championship match in program history with a 3-0 sweep of Santa Clara (30-24, 30-19, 30-21) in front of 7,931 fans at the Alamodome Thursday evening.

The Huskers will look for their third national title and first since 2000 on Saturday at 5 p.m. in a match televised live on ESPN2. The Huskers – backed by over 4,000 fans who made the trip and another 2,500 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, will look to become only the third team in NCAA history to be ranked No. 1 from wire to wire.

Standing between Nebraska and the national championship is No. 3 seed Washington. While the Huskers (33-1) have lost only one match in 2005, the Huskies have also tasted defeat just once in compiling a 31-1 record. Both NU and UW have also swept all five of their NCAA Tournament opponents.

NU hit a blistering .449 on the evening Santa Clara (27-5) and dominated the net, winning the blocking battle 12.5 to 2. The .449 attacking percentage was Nebraska’s best in a postseason match since 1998 and just off the school postseason mark of .486 against Morgan State that season. The Huskers also out-dug the Broncos, 36-34, and held Santa Clara to .145 hitting.

Elmer’s 13 kills marked the first time that the first-team All-American had led the Huskers in kills, while Sarah Pavan and Christina Houghtelling had 11 and 10 kills, respectively, as both hit over .400 in the sweep, NU’s 26th sweep of the year.

The Huskers came out firing in game one, hitting .387 in the opener in posting a 30-24 victory. Houghtelling led the balanced attack with four kills, as five players recorded multiple kills in the opener, but Nebraska did most of its damage at the net. NU outblocked Santa Clara, 6-0, as Tracy Stalls and Melissa Elmer had three blocks apiece. The Huskers built a 9-4 lead after a Sarah Pavan kill, but Santa Clara came back with four straight to get within 9-8. Nebraska answered that run with four straight points, building a five-point lead. Trailing 19-14, Santa Clara used a 6-2 run to pull within 21-20, but would get no closer, as the Huskers ran off five straight points and took a 26-20 lead after a Saleaumua ace.

Just as they did in game one, the Huskers never trailed in the second game, hitting .484 in rolling to a 30-19 victory. Elmer shined offensively, drilling six kills and hitting .857, while Pavan had four kills in five swings. Leading 8-7, back-to-back kills by Tracy Stalls triggered an 8-2 run for Nebraska, giving the Huskers a seven-point cushion. Santa Clara whittled the lead to 16-11, but two kills by Elmer and a pair of hitting errors highlighted a 5-0 spurt that made it 21-11, as NU took a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

In the finale, the Huskers closed the match with a flourish, hitting .472 while holding the Broncos to just .146 hitting in a 30-21 win. Saleaumua had five of her seven kills in game three, while Elmer and Pavan had four kills apiece. Leading 12-10, the Huskers put the match away with an 8-1 run, taking a 20-11 lead on a Saleaumua kill. The Huskers led by as many as 11 points, the last at 27-16, and cruised to the nine-point win.

Anna Cmaylo led Santa Clara with 10 kills, while three other players had nine kills apiece.

With the win against Santa Clara, Nebraska tied Florida and Ohio for the Division I lead in wins with 33. Of NU’s 33 wins, 12 have been against ranked teams.


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Christina Houghtelling earned the AVCA National Player-of-the-Year award on Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that University of Nebraska junior Christina Houghtelling was named the 2005 AVCA Division I National Player of the Year.

The presentations were made at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet in San Antonio. The banquet was held in conjunction with the AVCA Annual Convention.

Houghtelling ranks among the Big 12 leaders in hitting percentage and kills per game. She attacks at a .377 percentage with averages of 3.70 kills, 2.46 digs and 1.00 blocks per game. Houghtelling has hit .400 or better in 19 of 34 matches and was named MVP of the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase and the NCAA Omaha Regional. She has led the team in kills 13 times this season, including a career-high 20 kills against Oklahoma, and has recorded five double-doubles in 2005.

One of three co-captains, Houghtelling has helped lead Nebraska to a 33-1 overall record, the Big 12 championship and the NCAA title match against Washington on Saturday. Nebraska has been the No. 1 team in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll all season and is attempting to become the third team in the poll’s history to lead wire-to-wire.

She is the third Husker to earn AVCA Player-of-the-Year honors, joining Greichaly Cepero (2000) and Allison Weston (1995)

“It really is a great honor,” Houghtelling said. "I really wasn’t paying attention, but I wanted to hear who they said. When I heard Christina, I said ‘there is no way’ and when they said Houghtelling, I said ‘no, this is not happening.’ I would have never really expected this to happen in my life. It is a really great honor, and I am excited, but our main focus is on the team and helping us win a national championship, and that is what I want to do.”

Houghtelling, an elementary education major with a 3.90 grade-point average, was named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She is a two-time academic All-Big 12 selection.

Houghtelling competed on the USA Volleyball A-2 National Team this past summer. She traveled to Switzerland and competed in the Montreux VolleyMasters Tournament while competing for the A-2 team.


Courtesy: Shamus McKnight/
Nebraska's John Cook was named AVCA National Coach of the Year.

San Antonio, Texas – For the second time in six seasons, Nebraska Head Coach John Cook earned one of college volleyball’s highest honors, as he was named the Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year Thursday morning.

Cook has guided Nebraska to a 32-1 record and the school’s third national semifinal appearance in six years. He has led Nebraska to the school’s first national semifinal appearance since 2001, while capturing the Big 12 title with a 19-1 mark. Nebraska, which has been ranked No. 1 the entire season, has played 13 matches against nationally ranked teams and has compiled a 5-0 mark against teams in the top five.

"It is a reflection of Nebraska volleyball and the program, and not about one person or one player.” Cook said. “I know this award is based on what we did at the AVCA Showcase and Regionals. We really raised the bar for volleyball in this country and that is rewarding. It was also exciting to see how many former players who are in coaching here at this banquet. That shows we are doing a great job of providing a positive experience to players, and they are staying in volleyball and giving back to the sport of volleyball.”

After running a 5-1 offense in 2004, the Huskers made the switch to a 6-2 offense and are ranked in the top eight nationally in blocking (4.10, 1st), hitting percentage (.324, fourth), kills per game (17.13, fourth) and assists per game (15.68, eighth) entering tonight’s semifinal against No. 11 Santa Clara. Five players average more than two kills per game, while NU’s team hitting percentage is the second-highest in school history and highest since 1986.

Cook played an instrumental role in getting the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase to Omaha, where it drew two crowds of over 10,000 per game. Omaha, with strong backing from Nebraska, hosted a NCAA Division I Tournament regional and the crowds averaged 14,804 per night, including an NCAA volleyball postseason record attendance of 15,119 fans in the Elite Eight round.

“We’re trying to be a leader in the sport,” Cook said. “We’re trying to take risks and dream big, and fortunately I’m surrounded by a lot of people that have that vision. I’m really proud of what we’re doing to try and enhance the sport.”

Cook earned the Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year award also in 2000 during the Huskers last NCAA Division national championship season. He holds a 347-85 overall record, including a 186-12 record in six years at Nebraska. Cook has been honored as Big 12 Coach of the Year twice, and Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year once during his tenure at Wisconsin. He led the Badgers from 1992-1998 with a 161-73 record.

With Cook at the helm of the Nebraska volleyball program, the Huskers have produced one Olympian, one AVCA Division I National Player of the Year, one NCAA Top Eight Award winner, one AVCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, one Honda Award winner, 17 AVCA All-Americans, one CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, seven CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, three Big 12 Players of the Year and three Big 12 Co-Players of the Year.


A talented collection of 30 University of Nebraska student-athletes, including 10 current members of the Nebraska football team, will earn their degrees during winter commencement ceremonies on Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Among the 10 current Nebraska football players to earn their degress on Saturday are starting defensive tackles Titus Adams (Omaha, Neb.) and Le Kevin Smith (Macon, Ga.), starting strong safety Daniel Bullocks (Chattanooga, Tenn.), starting punter Sam Koch (Seward, Neb.), and starting offensive tackle Seppo Evwaraye (Laurel, Neb./Vassa, Finland). Other Huskers who will earn their diplomas while also preparing for Nebraska’s showdown with Michigan in the Alamo Bowl, include Tyler Fisher (Anselmo, Neb.), Jake Peetz (O’Neill, Neb.), Gary Pike (Pueblo, Colo.), Joey Robison (Bertrand, Neb.) and Mark LeFlore (Omaha, Neb.). LeFlore completed his undergraduate work in just three-and-a-half years.
Three other former football letterman, including Philip Bland (Lafayette, Colo.), John Martin (Wahoo, Neb.) and Shane Siegel (Grand Island, Neb.), will earn their degrees as well on Saturday to bring the total number of graduates to 13 for the football program.
Nebraska volleyball All-American Melissa Elmer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also added her name to the list of graduates, while leading the Huskers to the NCAA Championship match in San Antonio, Texas, Saturday. Former Husker Ally Rebholz (Indianapolis, Ind.) will also receive her diploma. The Nebraska track and field program has a strong contingent with five graduates, including Eric Rasmussen (Seward, Neb.), Tommy Donlin (Seattle, Wash.), Matthew O’Brien (Lexington, Neb.), Christi (Lehman) Krug (Newton, Kan.) and Jamie Senkbile (Central City, Neb.).
The Nebraska baseball team added four former Huskers to the list of graduates, including Aaron Marsden (Grand Fork, N.D.), Scott Fries (Grand Island, Neb.), Mike Sillman (Omaha, Neb.) and Darren Hoffart (Omaha, Neb.).
The Nebraska men’s gymnastics team contributed three former competitors to the list of 30 graduates with Steven Friedman (Johannesburg, South Africa), Josh Rasile (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Adam Tietze (Spring, Texas) earning degrees.
Former Nebraska men’s basketball player Corey Simms (St. Louis, Mo.), former NU soccer player Breanna Boyd (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), and former men’s tennis player Jose Rivera (Atizapan, Mexico) will also take home their degrees to round out the list of Husker December graduates.
Nebraska’s 30 December graduates come from 11 states across America, in addition to four foreign countries.
"I admire each one of these student-athletes for the way they have balanced school with competition," Nebraska Associate Athletic Director for Academic Programs and Student Services Dennis Leblanc said. "These 30 graduates add to Nebraska’s great tradition of academic and athletic excellence. These student-athletes have come from all around the United States and the world to get the highest quality of education while competing in athletics at the highest level. The athletic department, the University and the entire state of Nebraska should be proud."
Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the nation with an exhausted eligibility graduation rate of 91 percent.
This great website is courtesy of NORAD, those folks who are in Cheyenne Mountain keeping watch for bad things and controlling the nation's satellites around the globe. And for the last 50 years they also track old St. Nick for a couple of nights every year (test flights on Thanksgiving for the big parades you know). Good fun for your kids and grandkids!


* Nebraska Stunned By Washington In Volleyball Championship
Tears. Sometimes, finishing second is truly heart breaking.

* Linebacker Ruud Lost To Huskers For Alamo Bowl
Oh, man. This will take some of the glitter off of Christmas for die-hard NU fans.

* Five-year Drought Drains Nebraska Groundwater
A study worth perusal.

* Christmas Carol Conversations
Columnist Tammy Hansen Snell talks about a musical generation gap.

HOLIDAY HUSKER HUMOR (thanks Dave!)...

Christmas in NebraskaWhen it's Christmas in Nebraska,And the gentle breezes blow,About seventy miles an hourAnd its fifty-two below,You can tell you're in Nebraska'Cause the snow's up to your butt.And you take a breath of Christmas airAnd your nostrils both freeze shut.The weather here is wonderful,So I guess I'll hang around,I could never leave Nebraska--......

'Cause my feet are frozen to the ground!

And here is another one that should be a warning to all football fans out there...don't make any silly statements like this until the bowl games and playoffs are over!

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
So his wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer.

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