Published Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 11:05 am / Updated at 7:30 am
Tommie Frazier selected to College Football Hall of Fame
Video: Tommie Frazier talks Hall of Fame
Former Husker quarterback Tommie Frazier discusses his selection to the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Click here to watch »

2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class


Ted Brown, TB, North Carolina State (1975-78)

Tedy Bruschi, DE, Arizona (1992-95)

Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin (1996-99)

Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska (1992-95)

Jerry Gray, DB, Texas (1981-84)

Steve Meilinger*, E, Kentucky (1951-53)

Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State (1994-96)

Rod Shoate (deceased), LB, Oklahoma (1972-74)

Percy Snow, LB, Michigan State (1986-89)

Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami, Fla. (1982, 1984-86)

Don Trull, QB, Baylor (1961-63)

Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida (1993-96)

* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee


Wayne Hardin, 118-74-5 (61.2%); Navy (1959-64) and Temple (1970-82)

Bill McCartney, 93-55-5 (62.4%); Colorado (1982-94)

The chances of keeping Tommie Frazier out of the College Football Hall of Fame turned out to be a little like the futility of those Florida Gator defenders trying to stand him up 60 yards from paydirt in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.

Frazier eventually was going to get where he was supposed to go.

“I was patient,” Frazier said Tuesday. “Patience gets you where you need to be.

“I think the fans and media across the country did all my politicking for me. So I just sat back and just let everyone else do the talking. I knew my time was going to come.”

The former Nebraska quarterback on Tuesday was among 12 players selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. When Frazier is inducted on Dec. 10 in New York City, he will join 15 former Huskers and six former NU coaches in the Hall.

The fact that he was passed over his first two years on the ballot drew strong reaction, both locally and nationally, from many that viewed him as one of the great option quarterbacks in college football history.

“Tommie was an outstanding competitor,” former NU head coach Tom Osborne said. “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.”

Osborne called Frazier a “natural option quarterback.”

“He had a good sense of timing -- when to pitch, when not to pitch,” Osborne said. “He had excellent balance, good speed and was very strong.”

Eric Crouch, who grew up watching Frazier and would follow as an NU option quarterback a few years later, said Frazier had a knack for seeing how things would unfold and reacting in a hurry.

“He was very decisive in what he did,” Crouch said. “There was no hesitating. If you talk to anybody who knows anything about the option game, if there's any hesitation in what you do those lanes and holes get cut off quickly.”

Crouch (1998 to 2001) and former NU defensive end Trev Alberts (1990-93) were among those not picked from the ballot of 77 players. Crouch was the only one of four former Heisman Trophy winners on the 2013 ballot to be bypassed (going in will be Vinny Testaverde, Ron Dayne and Danny Wuerffel).

Wuerffel was the Florida quarterback in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl when Frazier put the stamp on his legacy, winning MVP honors after rushing for 199 yards and passing for 105 in the 62-24 victory. Most memorable was his 75-yard run late in the third quarter when it appeared that any number of Gators could have stopped him before midfield.

“I just think that his command on the field was evident every time you watched him play,” Crouch said. “He played with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.”

Frazier is the first former Husker quarterback to go into the Hall of Fame, so he called it “quite an honor” when you consider Jerry Tagge, Dave Humm, Vince Ferragamo, Turner Gill and Steve Taylor among those before him, and Crouch afterwards.

Gill, who starred for Osborne from 1981 through '83, was an NU assistant coach during Frazier's time as a Husker.

“Turner Gill is more deserving than me to be the first Nebraska quarterback in the Hall of Fame because he taught me everything I know,” Frazier said. “Eric Crouch is also very deserving of the honor and hopefully his time will come soon.”

Frazier was the Heisman Trophy runner-up as a senior in 1995 and won the Johnny Unitas Award as the nation's top quarterback. His record as a Husker starter was 33-3, and his final two seasons included back-to-back national championships.

His career took flight as a true freshman in 1992 when Osborne inserted him into the starting lineup for an Oct. 24 game at Missouri.

Discuss Frazier's selection on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

“Tommie was better prepared to start as a freshman than any quarterback we had,” Osborne said. “That's not easy to do, but he was unusually mature and competitive. He had played at a high level in front of big crowds in high school, so going out and playing in a major college game was not intimidating to him.”

Despite missing seven games during his junior year because of blood clots, Frazier ranks No. 4 on the Huskers' all-time list for total offense (5,476 yards). The native of Bradenton, Fla., ran for 1,955 of those yards, averaging 5.7 per carry with 36 touchdowns.

“Tommie was the ultimate competitor, leader and champion that I have ever coached,” said Gill, now the head coach at Liberty University. “He demonstrated this from the first day at practice through the last football snap that he ever took at Nebraska.”

Frazier was a marquee recruit for Osborne in 1992 at a time when Nebraska was looking for ways to take the next step as a program. Frazier said Osborne took a big chance on him as a freshman, adding: “He gave me the keys to the car, and I think by him doing that showed me that he trusted me … and I think my career flourished from there.”

NU was 45-4 during his career, and his junior and senior seasons started a four-year run where the Huskers went 49-2 and won three national titles. If he had any regrets, Frazier said, it was maybe not winning another title in 1993, when the Huskers fell just short with an 18-16 loss to highly favored Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

“But two is still good,” he said.

One of his other strengths was an ability to let those around him do their thing. And Frazier admits he was surrounded by some amazing casts during his NU career.

“I'm taking those guys into the Hall of Fame with me,” he said.

Contact the writer:


* * *

>> Video: Tommie Frazier discusses selection to College Football Hall of Fame:

>> Video: Frazier headed to College Football Hall of Fame:

Contact the writer: Rich Kaipust    |   402-444-1042    |  

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and some general assignment tasks, including the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >