A spectacular sophomore season at Nebraska earned Bobby Reynolds the nickname "Mr. Touchdown."
But as bright as the Grand Island native shined during that 1950 season, the rest of his career was tarnished by what-ifs.
"The guy was a fine athlete, and if it hadn't been for the injuries, he might be immortal," said the late Don Bryant, who was Nebraska’s longtime sports information director.
Reynolds garnered All-America honors as he scored 22 touchdowns that season and added enough extra points to score 157 points. He finished second in the country with 1,342 yards rushing in just nine games, had eight straight 100-yard games and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
The point total is NU's second-best scoring season behind Mike Rozier's 29-touchdown season in 1983, and his rushing yardage still ranks 10th on the program's single-season chart. All the Huskers ahead of Reynolds on that list played in 12 or more games.
But 1950 would be Reynolds' apex. He would play in only 13 of Nebraska's 20 games during his final two seasons. He suffered separated shoulders and ankle injuries and nearly lost sight in his left eye when it was burned by lime that was used to mark the field.
Reynolds rushed for a total of 854 yards in his final two seasons. Still, his career rushing total of 2,196 yards ranks 24th on NU's all-time list.
Reynolds, who led Grand Island to state titles in football and basketball in 1947 and 1948, also was a three-year letterman for the NU baseball team, but he broke his leg playing baseball his senior year. Reynolds still was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, but he declined to seek an NFL career.
After his college career, Reynolds lived in Lincoln and was a partner in an insurance company. He was a terrific golf, tennis and racquetball player.
He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1985 at age 53, eight months after being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He also was a 1994 inductee into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame.
Played for: Grand Island High and Nebraska Cornhuskers
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Tackle Charles Toogood of North Platte was a two-time All-Big Seven selection and a third-round draft pick of the Rams. He played seven years in the NFL as an offensive lineman.
Best moment as an athlete: A wild 33-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 led to a 40-34 victory over Missouri in 1950. It has been estimated he covered as many as 100 yards, reversing his field three times and retreating nearly 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage. But Reynolds thought a touchdown catch he made earlier in the same game was a better play.
Reynolds was No. 45 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »