When it came time in practice for the Houston Oilers to run sprints, defensive end Ed Husmann usually found himself at the back of the pack.
"I wasn't that fast," he said.
But during the opening kickoff, Husmann usually was the first Oiler down the field to break the wedge. It's called game speed. When it was time to play, Husmann was more than fast enough.
"I just loved to play," he said.
It showed at Nebraska and in the pros.
In 1952 at Nebraska, the Ogallala native was a co-captain and was named the most valuable senior. He won a Big Seven wrestling crown the same year.
Husmann began his pro career with the then-Chicago Cardinals in 1953. He signed with the expansion Dallas Cowboys in their inaugural season of 1960, playing one season for legendary coach Tom Landry.
Husmann's next stop would be his most successful. He signed a contract in 1961 with the Oilers, who would win their second straight AFL championship that year.
That season was the first of three Pro Bowl selections for Husmann, who turned into one of the best defensive linemen in the AFL. He still is tied for the Oilers/Tennessee Titans single-game sack record with four.
In 2004, Husmann was named to the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame through the veteran's division. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete in 2006.
Buffalo Bills offensive guard Billy Shaw called Husmann the most competitive player he ever met, noting, "Late in the game, some guys go full speed every other time. Husmann hits every play."
Played for: Ogallala High, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Chicago Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Bobby Reynolds, a teammate at Nebraska. "You just had to see what he did to really appreciate it."
Best moment as an athlete: Winning the American Football League championship in 1961. Husmann's Houston Oilers defeated the Los Angeles-San Diego Chargers 10-3.
Husmann was No. 97 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »