#21 Ed Weir


Nebraska tackle Ed Weir impressed the best.

Football immortals Knute Rockne and Red Grange spoke in superlatives about Weir, and Notre Dame's fabled "Four Horsemen" invited him to a reunion in New York after their playing days.

Weir first gained notice as a track standout at Superior High School, winning five events at the 1920 Class B state meet.

At Nebraska, teammates had such respect for his ability that he was named a captain upon joining the varsity football team as a sophomore in 1923.

In his second game — and the first at Memorial Stadium — Weir never left the field in a 24-0 win over Oklahoma.

Later that season, the Huskers claimed a 14-7 victory over powerful Notre Dame, coached by Rockne and featuring the all-star backfield known as the "Four Horsemen."

The Irish got revenge in 1924, winning 34-6 in South Bend. Weir, despite missing a week of practice with an infection, still played well enough to draw Rockne to the Nebraska locker room after the game.

"Weir!" Rockne exclaimed as he grabbed the lineman's arm. "I want to say to your face that you're the greatest tackle, the cleanest player I ever saw."

That same season, Weir and his teammates held Grange, known as "The Galloping Ghost," to 42 yards in the Illini's 9-6 victory.

"Ed Weir is the cleanest player I have ever had the pleasure of playing against," Grange said afterward.

"Speed and power seldom, if ever, have been so effectively combined," Walter Eckersall of the Chicago Tribune wrote of Weir.

Nebraska turned the tables on Notre Dame and Illinois in 1925, Weir's senior year.

In the season opener, the Huskers shut down Grange again in a 14-0 win in Champaign.

"When the irresistible object met the immovable body, the object became resistible," The World-Herald reported of the meeting between Grange and Weir.

In the final game of the season, the Huskers beat the Irish 17-0 in Lincoln, with Weir adding long punts and a field goal to his stellar line play. From 1923 to 1925, Rockne's Notre Dame teams went 26-3-2, with two of their three losses to Weir and Nebraska.

Weir also competed in track at Nebraska and as a senior won a Missouri Valley Conference title as a hurdler. Football coach Fred Dawson at one point even considered moving the 6-foot, 190-pound bruiser to the backfield after he ran a 10.3 in the 100-yard dash.

Weir, a two-time All-American, at first rejected pro football after graduation, saying "they take the game as part of the day's work, as routine," and he turned down an offer of $1,000 a game.

However, he later joined the Frankford Yellow Jackets and player-coach Guy Chamberlin, another Husker legend.

Weir's stay with the suburban Philadelphia team included an NFL championship that first season in 1926 and a stint as co-head coach in 1927.

He returned to Nebraska in 1929 as assistant football and track coach, was head track coach from 1939 to '54 and assistant director of athletics from 1955 to '68.

His track teams won 10 conference championships in 16 years. The NU track stadium has carried his name since 1974.

Weir was among the first class inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and Sports Illustrated picked him for its greatest players of the first half of the 20th century.

"He was one of the most renowned players in Nebraska history," said the late Don Bryant, who was the Huskers' longtime sports information director. "Everybody in the country knew him."

Quick facts about Weir

Played for: Superior High, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Frankford Yellow Jackets

Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Weir played his first season at NU along with quarterback Verne Lewellen. With Frankford in the NFL, he was united with another former Husker great, Guy Chamberlin.

Best moment as an athlete: In a 1985 interview, Weir said no game compared to NU's 17-0 win over Notre Dame in 1925. Weir helped stifle the dangerous "Four Horsemen" and also kicked a field goal and two extra points.

Nebraska 100: 2005 edition

Weir was No. 19 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »