Class of 1981

Mike Rozier

HometownCamden, NJ
High schoolWoodrow Wilson

Husker lore has it that then-assistant coach Frank Solich was scouting a player on the opposing team when he noticed Camden (New Jersey) Woodrow Wilson High School’s Mike Rozier.

Turned out to be a storybook find for Nebraska.

Rozier’s Heisman Trophy season of 1983 saw him rush for a school-record 2,148 yards. His 4,780 career rushing yards are tops all-time at Nebraska.

He had an impressive buildup after playing a season at Coffeyville (Kansas) Junior College to get his grades up. He began to star as an NU sophomore in 1981 while sharing time at I-back with Roger Craig. Rozier then rushed for 1,689 yards in 1982, when the Huskers even used Craig at times as a fullback.

While it was Rozier’s show on the ground in 1983, he was part of one of the most prolific offenses in college football history: The "Triplets" also featured quarterback Turner Gill and receiver Irving Fryar.

The ending wasn’t quite storybook. In the Orange Bowl against Miami after the ’83 season, Rozier was running well but had to leave in the third quarter with an ankle injury. The Huskers rallied to within 31-30, but Gill’s two-point conversion pass after their last touchdown was knocked away, and with it went a national championship.

Rozier started his professional career with Pittsburgh and then Jacksonville in the United States Football League. He then went to the NFL’s Houston Oilers, making the Pro Bowl twice, and finished in 1991 with the Atlanta Falcons. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

He was drafted with the second pick of the 1984 supplemental draft that the NFL held for players that signed with the USFL and CFL out of college.

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