There’s no doubt sprinter’s speed made him a factor. But Ahman Green was always strong and aggressive enough to power through defenders. Those traits produced a brilliant career running the football at Nebraska and in the NFL.
Green, a 6-foot, 217-pounder who starred at Omaha Central (after a sophomore year at Omaha North), ran for more than 1,000 yards three consecutive years in high school. He capped his senior year by winning gold in the 100, 200 and 400 relay at the state track meet.
Green made an immediate impact with the Huskers, setting a freshman rushing record with 1,086 yards in 1995 when Lawrence Phillips missed time while suspended. Green had 176-yard games against Washington State and Iowa State. He had 68 yards and a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl rout of Florida that brought NU its second straight national championship.
Toe and foot injuries slowed Green at times in 1996, but he still led the Orange Bowl champs in rushing with 917 yards. He had a career-high 214-yard game against Iowa State.
Green came back with his best season to help lead the Huskers to a share of the national title in 1997. The second-team All-American rushed for 1,877 yards and 22 touchdowns — bringing his career total to 42 TDs. He had three 200-yard games, including 206 and two scores in the victory over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. He is No. 3 all time on the Nebraska rushing chart with 3,880 yards.
He declared for the NFL draft after his junior year. Despite his credentials, he fell to Seattle in the third round. After two years as a backup and kick returner with the Seahawks, he was dealt to Green Bay.
The Packers got a steal. Green was also proficient at getting tough yardage. He was a four-time Pro Bowler (2001-04) with Green Bay. He is the storied franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 8,322 yards. He went over 1,000 yards in six seasons (a high of 1,883 in 2003) for the Packers. He also played two seasons for Houston.
These are the players who built Nebraska football.
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