Jerry Murtaugh remains one of the most prolific tacklers in Nebraska history. He’s tackling more important issues these days — helping people in need.
The linebacker out of Omaha North has remained in the public eye, sports talk radio being one of his activities, after helping the Huskers to the 1970 national championship.
He is the driving force behind the Husker Greats Foundation (original board members also included former Husker athletes Joel Makovicka, Dave Hoppen and Karen Jennings). The nonprofit organization was designed to help former University of Nebraska athletes (letter winners in all sports) who need medical or emergency assistance.
Murtaugh was a tackling machine in all three of his varsity seasons, reaching stardom as a sophomore. His 99 total tackles led the team.
He was superb again in 1969 for a team that led the Big Eight in total defense and scoring defense. Murtaugh was voted outstanding lineman in the Sun Bowl victory over Georgia, the prelude to a historic 1970 season.
Murtaugh was a first-team All-American as a senior, when the Huskers led the conference in rushing defense and scoring defense and finished second in total defense. He led the way with nine total tackles as NU held LSU to 51 yards on the ground in the Orange Bowl victory that clinched the national championship.
Through 2014, Murtaugh still stood second on NU’s career tackles chart with 342. Barrett Ruud (2001 through 2004) led with 432.
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