Class of 1961

Robert Brown

HometownCleveland, OH
High schoolEast Tech

Legendary guard Bob Brown was one of the first great players of coach Bob Devaney’s Nebraska regime, helping to usher in one of the longest successful periods in college football. Brown had a great nickname, as "Boomer" brought boom and doom to opponents.

Big for his day and aggressive, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Cleveland native also played some linebacker. But he made his mark on the offensive line.

Brown bridged two eras of Husker football. His first varsity season in 1961, when NU went 3-6-1, was coach Bill Jennings’ last year at the helm. Nebraska had four winning seasons and one bowl appearance from 1941 through 1961. Then Devaney and Co. — with help from a number of Jennings’ recruits — changed the landscape.

In 1962-63, Brown led blocking for Devaney’s ground-oriented attack that often utilized a half-dozen runners — including Willie Ross, Bill "Thunder" Thornton and Rudy Johnson — and primary starting quarterback Dennis Claridge. The 1962 team’s Gotham Bowl victory over Miami in Yankee Stadium was the Huskers’ first bowl win and capped a 9-2 season.

Brown helped NU to its first conference title since 1940 in his All-America senior season of 1963. The Big Eight champions finished 10-1 after defeating Auburn in the Orange Bowl.

Brown, the second overall pick by Philadelphia in the 1964 draft, had a standout 10-year NFL career as an offensive tackle. He played five years with the Eagles, two with the Los Angeles Rams and three with the Oakland Raiders, representing all three teams in his six Pro Bowls. He was an All-Pro with the Eagles and Rams. Brown was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

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