Tommie Frazier, outspoken lately about the Nebraska football program, was nearly speechless Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Frazier, a quarterback who led Nebraska to two national titles, four Big Eight crowns and won the MVP award in three national championship games, was the 16th Husker named to the Hall of Fame.
“I’m emotional right now and I’m not the type of guy that gets emotional, but right now it’s starting to set in that I am with an elite group of guys,” said Frazier, who played from 1992-95. “This is a great opportunity and it truly is a testament to what can happen when you put God first and family second. It’s an honor to be up here with this great group of guys.”
Frazier is one of 12 former players who were inducted by the National Football Foundation in the College Hall of Fame on Tuesday night. The class includes Ron Dayne of Wisconsin, Tedy Bruschi of Arizona, Orlando Pace of Ohio State, the late Rod Shoate of Oklahoma, Percy Snow of Michigan State and Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde and Danny Wuerffel.
Many national commentators noted that Frazier, considered one of the top 10 players of the past century, had been bypassed by the hall since 2006 when he was first eligible. The Bradenton, Fla., native took over as the Nebraska starter in the middle of the 1992 season and was a consensus All-American and Johnny Unitas Award winner by the time he completed his senior season. The Huskers were 36-1 in Frazier’s final three seasons and never finished lower than No. 3 in the national polls.
He missed seven games his junior season because of blood clots in his legs, and Brook Berringer took over and helped the Huskers stay unbeaten. Frazier returned to start and lead the Huskers to a win over Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl, giving Nebraska its first national championship since 1971, and the first of three national crowns under Tom Osborne.
“Tommie was an outstanding competitor," Osborne said in May, when Frazier was named to this year’s Hall of Fame class. "He did everything he could to win, and was a good leader by example. He expected a lot out of himself and the people around him. He was an outstanding leader and catalyst and made everyone around him better.
“Tommie was better prepared to start as a freshman than any quarterback we had. That’s not easy to do.”
Frazier said the teammates and coaches were all a part of the honor.
Frazier later coached at Baylor and Doane College, and his No. 15 jersey was retired by Nebraska.
Huskers' Long honored
Nebraska offensive guard Spencer Long was named one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award winners.
Long, who played high school football at Elkhorn, said at the luncheon in New York: “I started out as a walk-on and barely made it to the university. I owe a lot of credit to my coaches and family for supporting me along the way. It was a tough ride, starting from the bottom, but on the way up I learned a lot and grew as a person.”