#19 Lloyd Cardwell


Lloyd Cardwell may have the best nickname in the Nebraska 100.

"Wild Hoss of the Plains," courtesy of then-World-Herald sports editor Frederick Ware.

"It's his roaring, tearing, gay freebooting way that reminds me of the defiant, joyous, speeding wild horse of the prairie that loves to run with the wind," wrote Ware.

Cardwell certainly ran over the competition.

The running back from Seward helped lead Nebraska to Big Six football titles in 1935 and 1936. Scoring 120 points in 24 games during his three-year career, he also played defensive back.

In high school, he was twice an All-Nebraska football pick; was second team in basketball; and won three pentathlon and hurdles titles and two long jump crowns at the state meet.

The Detroit Lions made him a first-round pick in 1937 and he signed for $250. He became a two-time All-Pro selection.

Cardwell took over Omaha University's football team in 1947 and, seven years later, guided the team to a 7-6 win over Eastern Kentucky in the 1955 Tangerine Bowl.

He ended his football coaching career in 1959, then spent the next 20 years as the school’s track coach. He retired in 1978.

"Cardy," as he was called during his coaching career, was inducted into the UNO Hall of Fame in 1978. He is also a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer"l White, a former Lions teammate, called him "a superior teammate, a terrific competitor and someone who was always ready to play."

Cardwell died in 1997 at age 84.

Quick facts about Cardwell

Played for: Seward High, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Detroit Lions

Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: It likely was Sam Francis, another back for the Huskers who earned all-conference honors in the Big Six

Best moment as an athlete: It possibly happened in 1934, when Cardwell scored a touchdown the first time he carried the ball for NU in a 50-0 romp over Wyoming.

NFL: 905 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, 932 receiving yards, five touchdowns

Nebraska 100: 2005 edition

Cardwell was No. 16 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »