Sam Francis

Sam Francis was a decorated member of the Nebraska football and track and field teams in the 1930s.

Sam Francis, a member of the Husker football and track and field teams in the 1930s, was announced Tuesday as the fifth of six members of the 2020 Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame class.

In football, Francis was a consensus first-team All-American, runner-up for the 1936 Heisman Trophy and the No. 1 overall pick in the 1937 NFL draft. He entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1977, and his No. 38 jersey was retired by Nebraska in 2017.

Francis was also a two-time All-American as a shot putter. He won the NCAA championship in 1937 and was a four-time conference champion. He finished fourth in the shot put at the 1936 Olympics.

While Francis competed, the football and track teams won six combined conference titles, and the football team earned its first top-10 finish during Francis’ senior year in 1936.

He will enter the hall of fame posthumously. He died in 2002 at age 88.

Others previously announced for the 2020 class: Terry Pettit (volleyball coach, 1977-99), Jordan Larson (volleyball, 2005-08), Amanda Burgoyne (bowling, 2004-07) and Maurtice Ivy (women’s basketball, 1985-88). One more athlete will be announced Wednesday.

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