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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 28, 2000)
Five Huskers named to All-Big 12
■ Nebraska places 12 players on the
All-Big 12fir$t, second, third and honorable
mention teams,fewer than KSU and OU.
BY JOHN GASKINS
Despite a two-loss season and failure to
clinch itself a spot in the Big 12
Championship game, the Nebraska football
team lost little respect from league coaches
The evidence comes in the five Huskers
who were named to the Coaches’ All-Big 12
football first team on Friday.
NU (9-2), the preseason conference
favorite and former national No. 1, also is
represented by two players on the second
team, two players on the third team and
three players with honorable mentions.
Junior Dominic Raiola, picked by
Football News last week as its first-team All
American center, also is the Big 12’s snapper.
Joining him on offense are senior I-back Dan
Alexander and junior tight end Tracy
Senior middle linebacker Carlos Polk
and senior punter Dan Hadenfeldt were
named to the first-team defense.
Second-team honors went to two offense
linemen - senior Russ Hochstein and sopho
more Toniu Fonoti.
Junior Eric Crouch is the third-team
quarterback, while senior Troy Watchorn is
the third-team safety. Honorable mention
honors went to senior wide receiver Matt
Davison, senior rush end Kyle Vanden Bosch
and junior comerback Keyou Craver.
This is Raiola’s second first-team nod.
He’s also a semifinalist for the Lombardi
Award, which honors the nation’s top line
man. He helps a Husker rushing attack that
leads the nation with 349.3 yards per game.
Wistrom - a John Mackey Award semifi
nalist for the nation’s top tight end - leads
the team with five touchdown receptions
and ranks second on the Huskers with 19
receptions - nearly all having gone for a first
down or touchdown.
Alexander, a Doak Walker Award semifi
nalist, has 1,154 yards, seven 100-yard per
formances, eight touchdowns and averages
more than 6 yards a carry. He’s now*!©1*1 on
the all-time NU rushing list
Polk, a former Butkus Award semifinalist,
leads the defense with 89 tackles and is a
team leader in both tackles for loss (eight for
27 yards) and quarterback hurries (13). His
interception return for a touchdown on the
second play of the game against Colorado on
Friday sealed his legacy as one of NU’s all
time best defensive playmakers.
Hadenfeldt averaged 43.8 yards on 39
punts and placed five kicks inside the 20- .
yard line in 2000. He finishes his career as
Nebraska’s school-record holder in both sea
son (45 yards per punt in 1999) and career
(44.5) punting average.
Big 12 South champion and top-ranked
Oklahoma (11-0) had the most honors with
14 players on the top three teams. Senior
Heisman Trophy hopeful Josh Heupel - who
has broken several career OU offensive
records - was named first-team quarterback.
No. 7 Kansas State (10-2) had the second
most honors with 11. The Sooners and
Wildcats will square off in Saturday's Big 12
championship game at Arrowhead Stadium
in Kansas City, Mo., at 7 p.m.
The winner of the game receives an auto
matic berth in a Bowl Championship Series
game. OU will play for the national title if it
with big schools
P Despite the Eagles'lopsided loss to NU,the perennial Big South
conference power generally holds it own against the nation's best.
BY JOSHUA CAMENZIND
Despite posting a 42-17 record wnne making tne nlm
Tournament in his first two seasons, Winthrop Coach Mike Marshall
said Monday night’s 65-44 loss to Nebraska showed just how far his
program has come - and how far it needs to go.
“It is pretty apparent to me that Nebraska had better players and
that Coach (Barry) Collier did a better job than I did tonight,”
marsnau saiu vvuumups mue
goal in scheduling opponents such
as Nebraska and Clemson is to
help fund the athletic department.
Winthrop (3-3), which was held
to 28 percent shooting for the
game by the Huskers, had played
perennial powerhouse North
Carolina close in the first game of
the season - losing 66-61 at UNC.
They also lost to the Pac-10's
Arizona State by eight points.
But the Eagles came into
Lincoln off a three-game winning
ctrool^ onH 1 ta nrocont o
“We were throwing the
ball right to them and
our guys were not
doing what we asked
them to. do to alleviate
tough matchup for NU. The defending Big South Conference
Champions, who beat Missouri at home last season and lost to
Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament, were overwhelmed by NU’s
defense from the opening tip.
The Huskers held Winthrop to six field goals in the first half, tak
ing a 33-23 advantage into the break.
"We were throwing the ball right to them, and our guys were not
doing what we asked them to do to alleviate that pressure,” said
Marshall, whose team committed 18 turnovers in the loss.
In Winthrop's defense, the Eagles’ senior leader, Greg Lewis,
played only 12 minutes in the game and was held scoreless - missing
on all five of his shots.
Marshall said Lewis, 1999's co-Big South Player of the Year, was
suffering from a foot injury and would likely take a medical redshirt
after meeting with doctors today.
NU’s Cookie Belcher said the Huskers had no knowledge of Lewis’
injury before the game.
But even Lewis wouldn't have stopped Nebraska, which shot
above 55 percent for the third straight game. The Eagles had held all
five of their previous opponents to under 50 percent shooting but
were overwhelmed inside by NU center Kimani Ffriend, who had 19
points, nine rebounds and seven blocks.
Marshall said his team’s past success against the big boys has cre
ated a creature of its own when it comes to playing marquee games.
“It’s almost to the point now, believe it or not, that we are expect
ed to go in and compete to win these games,” Marshall said.
NU's Cepero wins Big 12
player of the year award
CtPtRO from page 10
“I am happy for Greichaly,”
Cook said. “But anytime your
setter wins player of die year, it is
really a team award.”
With the Huskers’ domi
nance, it was no surprise that
they had die most players recog
nized; three other players joined
Cepero on the list.
Sophomore outside hitter
Laura Pilakowski, sophomore
middle blocker Amber
Holmquist and junior middle
blocker Jenny Kropp were also
named to the All-Big 12 team.
Pilakowski leads the Huskers
in kills per game and leads the
conference in hitting percent
Holmquist is the nation’s best
blocker, averaging 2.20 blocks
per game. She will likely break
the conference’s and NU's single
7 feel honored. It is a
there are so many
great players in the
. NU setter
season records for blocks per
Kropp is second in the con
ference and fourth in the nation
in blocking with 1.65 blocks per
Senior right-side hitter Angie
Oxley also was honored by the
conference as she earned honor
She leads the Huskers with 28
service aces and 2.81 digs per
Beamer decides to stay
at Virginia Tech after
considering Carolina job
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BLACKSBURG, Va. - North
Carolina’s whirlwind courtship of
Frank Beamer is over, and
Virginia Tech and its football
coach are still together.
Beamer said Monday that he
will return for a 15th season as
coach of the No. 6 Hokies, ending
a frantic 11/2 d&ys that included
an interview at North Carolina
' and a reported job offer from the
Tar Heels for as much as $1.4 mil
“What I really want to do is
keep this thing going here,”
Beamer said at a news confer
ence. "Sometimes it just takes
you a little time to realize what a
special thing we have here.”
Virginia Tech boosted
Beamer’s salary by 25 percent, to
more than $1 million. He also will
receive a $200,000 bonus if the
Hokies earn a Bowl
Championship Series berth,
$100,000 for any other bowl invi
“This is the university doing
what it feels is right,” Virginia
Tech athletic director Jim Weaver
said. “The university feels strong
ly that Frank Beamer should be
among the highest paid coaches
in the country, because he cer
tainly is one of the best, if not the
dui DCdiiici ddiu muiicy woa
not the biggest consideration.
“There’s been a lot of talk here
about money, but I can tell you
relationships and the guys we
have here in this program and the
people I have helping me in this
program is what’s really impor
tant,” he said.
Beamer's assistants also will
benefit. Virginia Tech added
$100,000 to raise assistant coach
“I wanted to make sure our
coaching staff was compensated
at a level that was the highest in
the country because I think they
are the best in the country,”
His success at Virginia Tech
has made him a frequent target of
other programs, with Clemson
and Alabama among the schools
that have courted him.
He was the near-consensus
national coach of the year last
season after leading the Hokies to
an 11-0 regular season record
7 wanted to make
sure our coaching
compensated at a
level that was the
highest in the country
because / think they
are the best in the
Virginia Tech coach
and the national championship
The Hokies capped a 10-1
regular season on Saturday with a
42-21 victory against rival
Virginia, and are in contention
for a BCS berth. It would be their
fourth trip to a major bowl in six
years, the best such stretch in
school history, and highlights the
Hokies’ remarkable turnaround.
Beamer, nearly fired in 1992
after compiling a 24-39-2 record
in his first six seasons at his alma
mater, has guided the Hokies to a
74-21 record since. Tech will
extend its bowl streak to eight
years this season, has won three
Big East championships in the
past five seasons and become a
fixture in the national polls.
For a time Monday, it looked
as if Beamer was leaning toward
the Tar Heels, who have a glisten
ing new athletic facility and a
football history similar to Virginia
Earlier in the day, Virginia
Tech defensive coordinator Bud
Foster said Beamer met with his
staff and was “struggling” with
the possibility of leaving after 14
“I think the bottom line is
we’re with him whatever he
decides,” said Foster, a member
of Beamer's coaching staff since
1981, when both were at Murray
“He has a lot of loyalty to his
staff and with his staff,” said
Foster, who turned down
Florida’s defensive coordinator
job before last season.
“He’s a guy that knows how to
run a successful program, it’s not
one guy. We as his assistants
to commit for NU
RECRUITING from page 10
their top schools.
Houston is rated No. 8 by
Rivals.com and Nash is No. 17.
Houston is scheduled to come
to Lincoln for an official visit on
Nash has yet to schedule an
official trip but already came to
NU on an unofficial visit.
NU’s ground-bound attack
isn’t attracting very much inter
est from prep wide receivers.
None of the 300-odd receivers
listed on Rivals.com is interest
ed in catching passes in
Cliff Brye of Hutchinson
(Kan.) Community College oral
ly committed to NU on
Thanksgiving and played
receiver at Hutchinson but said
he plans on playing in the sec
ondary next fall.
Coach Frank Solich has
signed a total of 10 offensive
linemen in the last two seasons,
and it looks like he wants to con
tinue to stockpile linemen in
Gary Pike of Pueblo (Colo.)
Centennial, Seppo Evwaraye of
Laurel and Richie Incognito of
Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain View
gave early commitments to
Solich this summer.
Barrington, 111., lineman f
Dan Stevenson, who is consid
ered one of the top prospects in
the Midwest, committed to
Nebraska in August but has just
recently decided to take other
Stevenson toox ms omciai
visit to Lincoln this weekend.
“The game against Colorado
was a great game,” Stevenson
said. "I’m still committed to
Nebraska, but I still want to take
visits because I just want to
make sure of my decision.”
The top two linemen in the
country - Jacksonville, Tex.,
native Jami Hightower and
Atlantic, Iowa, standout Blake
Larsen both are considering
Hightower has narrowed his
list down to NU, Texas and Texas
A&M. Larsen continues to say
he is wide open to about seven
. Defensive Lineman
The Big Red summer camp
has paid dividends in the long
run for recruiting.
The camp allows top
prospects from across the coun
try to come to Lincoln, giving
the Husker coaches an early
opportunity to discover hidden
During the summer camp,
NU received one of their biggest
early commitments from defen
sive tackle Jared Helming.
Helming, out of Springfield,
Mo., is the second top-notch
recruit Nebraska has stolen
away from the Show Me State in
as many years.
“I wanted to go there all
along,” Helming said. "A year
ago, I knew Nebraska was the
place for me.”
Omaha Creighton Prep
defensive tackle Titus Adams is
almost considered a lock for
Adams said he wants to take
some official visits before he
Two defensive ends, Tui
Alailefaleula from Ancfyorage,
Alaska, and Kaelen Jakes of
Valencia, Calif., are both giving
the Huskers a serious look.
Alailefaleula came to
Lincoln for his visit this past
weekend and Jakes attended a
session of the summer camp.
Lincoln Southeast line
backer Barrett Ruud is
Nebraska’s only solid commit
ment in this area.
Ruud’s father Tom played for
the Huskers in the 70s before
finishing his career with the
Cornerback Cory Ross
(Denver Thomas Jefferson),
considered the top player in
Colorado, originally committed
to Nebraska back in July.
After thinking about his
decision, Ross said he wants to
take a few visits before officially
pledging to NU.
Linebackers Jeb Huckeba
(Searcy, Ark.), Jeremy Hamilton
(Ruston, La.) and Fred Weinke
(St. Paul, Minn.) all show high
interest towards the Huskers.
In the secondary Brown
Faavae (Santa Ana, Calif.) and
twin brothers Daniel and Josh
Bullock (Hixson, Calif.) are also
being recruited by Nebraska.
National signing day is set
for Tuesday, Feb. 6. Solich has
said he hopes to sign 17 to 20
recruits for the Class of2001.
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