Tough Tony. The Tecumseh Tornado. The everyman identified with him. Especially the everyman from small Nebraska towns. And Tony Davis made the most of guts and determination in his Husker football career.
The 5-foot-11, 214-pounder packed a lot into three varsity seasons. He finished with 2,445 yards rushing and 22 total touchdowns. He helped Nebraska win two bowl games. And he unselfishly changed positions.
In 1973, Davis rushed for a team-leading 1,114 yards and had 14 total touchdowns as the I-back in Tom Osborne’s first year as NU head coach. Davis closed that sophomore season with an MVP performance in the Huskers’ 19-3 win over Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Davis ran for 106 yards and scored a touchdown.
With the Huskers gaining more firepower in the backfield with the emergence of Monte Anthony and John O’Leary in 1974, Davis switched to fullback. He again led the team with 652 yards on the ground and added 185 more as a receiver. Davis was named MVP of Nebraska’s 13-10 win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl with 126 yards on 17 carries.
Davis closed his Lincoln career with a solid senior season for Nebraska’s 1975 Big Eight co-champions. He was second on the team in rushing with 679 yards and added 175 yards receiving. He had four total touchdowns. He participated in the Hula and Japan All-Star games.
A fourth-round choice by Cincinnati in the 1976 NFL draft, Davis played three seasons each for the Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
These are the players who built Nebraska football.
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