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.
I love the disparity of numbers 39 - 30. At one end (39) is a fairly bleak field of candidates, while on the other end (30) you have two of the greatest I-Backs in school history. And with another mixed back of I-Backs, fullbacks, linebackers, corners, safeties, kickers, wingbacks, and others, it makes the picking rather difficult.
Best Player: Andra Franklin
, Fullback, 1978 - 1980
Jeff Souder, Safety, 2005
A starter in three different seasons, Andra Franklin was a mainstay at fullback in the late 70s. A gifted runner, Franklin averaged over 5 yards a carry during his Nebraska career, while also proving himself as an excellent blocker. Franklin earned All Big 8 honors in 1980.
Jeff Souder only played one season at Nebraska, and did not do much more than cover kickoffs. But, oh, were those fun to watch. Souder was generously listed at 200 pounds, but that was 200 pounds of excitement, energy, and desire to go blow somebody up. I remember before kickoffs how he would jump around and excite the crowd like it was 4th and Goal with a national championship on the line. Even though his career didn't go as planned, that excitement was real.
Best Player: Barrett Ruud
, Linebacker, 2002 - 2004
Dan Alexander, Steve Forch, Bruce Pickens
Dan Alexander, I-Back, 1996 - 2000
RUUUUUUUD!!!! Nebraska's all time leader in tackles, second to Grant Wistrom is tackles for loss, and is on the short list of greatest linebackers in school history. A three year starter, Ruud was a force all over the field. He had a nose for the football on running plays, but also excelled in pass coverage, recording 12 break ups and two interceptions in his career. While he strangely only earned first team All Big XII honors once, he was a three time academic All Big XII performer.
When I think of Dan Alexander, I think of two things: First, was amazing potential - the gifted athlete, seemingly chiseled from marble who captivated a fan base with his spring game performances - before knee injuries derailed him. And secondly, there is