This is my countdown of the greatest Nebraska Cornhuskers to wear each jersey number, 1-99. For background on the project, click here. We're going to start at #99 and work our way down to #1. For each number, I'll list the best player to wear that number, some of the other memorable Huskers to don that jersey, as well as a personal favorite of mine.
When coaches and broadcasters talk about controlling the line of scrimmage, the odds are that work is being done by somebody wearing number 59 through 50. At Nebraska, that means defensive linemen and linebackers on one side and on the other side you'll find offensive guards, tackles, and one of NU's prestige positions: Center.
Best Player: Josh Heskew, Center, 1995 - 1998
Other notables: Ryon Bingham, Brett Byford
Personal Favorite: Heskew
Comments: In our last installment, we covered the amazing career of Aaron Taylor, the only Husker to be an All-American at two different positions. One of the reasons that Taylor moved from center to guard, was Josh Heskew was a capable replacement, having studied under All-Americans Aaron Graham and Taylor. A tough Oklahoman, Heskew helped anchor the offensive line for the 1997 National Champions. He earned all conference honors as a senior in 1998.
Best Player: Harry Grimminger, Guard, 1982 - 1984
Other notables: Mike Caputo, Dave Volk
Personal Favorite: Mike Caputo, Center, 2007 - 2011
Comments: Harry Grimminger was a mainstay - and a force - on the left side of some dominating offensive lines in the 1980s. Grimminger initially backed up Dean Steinkuhler, but broke into the starting line up in 1983, helping to pave the way for the Scoring Explosion to put up over 400 yards of rushing and 52 points per game. As a senior, Grimminger picked All Big 8 and All-America honors.
When three-year start Jacob Hickman graduated, there was concern among Husker fans about who would take over at center for the 2010 season. Mike Caputo was the favorite to get the job, but there were concerns over his (relatively) short stature and his lack of experience. Having watched him backup Hickman, I knew there was nothing to be worried about. Caputo may have been built like a fire hydrant, but he was fierce like bulldog. That concern became such a strength that when Caputo graduated, fans wondered who could fill his shoes.
Best Player: Mark Traynowicz, Center, 1982 - 1984
Other notables: Chad Kelsay, Chris Kelsay, Kevin Lightner, Kelly Saalfield, Kenny Walker
Personal Favorite: Kenny Walker, Defensive Tackle, 1987 - 1990
Comments:How would you like to be the guy who follows one of the greatest center in college football history? ...