Class of 1981

Irving Fryar

HometownMt. Holly, NJ
High schoolRancocas Valley

Nebraska's recruiting prowess in the Tom Osborne coaching era was never more evident than in the early 1980s, when the Huskers snagged wingback Irving Fryar and I-back Mike Rozier from New Jersey.

Fryar was the main receiving threat — catching passes from Texan Turner Gill — with the "Triplets" offense that dominated the Big Eight. And, boy, did Fryar deliver. So much so that he was a No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 NFL draft.

Perhaps the most explosive Husker since Johnny Rodgers, Fryar’s senior year averages in 1983 were eye-popping. The consensus All-American averaged 19.5 yards on 40 catches, with eight touchdowns. He rushed 23 times for 318 yards — 13.8 per carry — and two TDs.

The "Flyer," who ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, led the conference in punt returns as a sophomore and junior.

Fryar joined fullback Sam Francis (Philadelphia, 1937) as the only former Huskers to be overall No. 1 NFL draft choices when New England selected him in 1984. Fryar played for the Patriots, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington in a 17-year career. He made the Pro Bowl five times, and he caught a touchdown pass from Steve Grogan in the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the 1985 Chicago Bears.

Somewhat lost are Fryar's impressive career statistics — 12,785 receiving yards (17th all-time in the NFL through 2014), 851 catches and 84 touchdowns.

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