Now, I realized upon confirmation that I would actually write this article that it would be nearly impossible to actually rank these players in a numerical value. Doing so would be about as complex as explaining to Gary Barnett the differences between naïve and "Backside-Or-A-Hole-In-The-Ground" stupidity. With that in mind, I offer you my selections for Blankman's Top Ten Most Wanted (once again, in no particular order)
1. Grant Wistrom – Grant was a player that I couldn't help but like as I saw him bud from early on in the mid-90s title years. A tall, lanky individual, Grant eventually bulked into a beast of a defensive end. No other metaphor would really do Mr. Wistrom justice as, by his senior year, he ran roughshod over the opposition on his way towards another QB-favored Wistrom Snack. He wasn't about flash or style; he was about getting the job done the right time and giving your all. Grant recently left my favorite NFL team, the Rams, and while it's hard to let go seeing as Grant was a reason I enjoyed Clan Ram so much, his parting words to the St. Louis community showed why I developed a decent-sized man-crush. Grant wished the Arched City well, thanked the people who always believed and said he'd like to be remembered as a guy who always played hard every down. Mission accomplished, sir. Good luck to you in Seattle.
2. Tommie Frazier – Those who know me know that I do not like many quarterbacks. Comes from years of attempting to rend them, I suppose. That said, I always liked the QBs who had my team's back. This was an easy choice because T-Fraz was not only a phenomenal athlete, but damnit, he had FUN doing everything he did! You got the feeling, watching this young man from Bradenton, that to him big-time college football was just another parking lot. I could almost see Tommie scratch out plays in the imaginary sand in Memorial Stadium and when things broke down? Tommie didn't improvise; he forced another play to happen. He didn't play football, he willed it. I always will remember The Run against Florida, but not because of what it meant for Nebraska, necessarily. I will remember it because I can still see a little Tommie bolting down the sidelines as he's called in for dinner both imagining what it's like to be a Cornhusker and living the dream at the very same time.
3. Eric Crouch – People can really go either way on Eric, it seems. Me, personally? He'll always be a stand up guy. I got to meet him a few times when I played football for Millard North, sparingly at times, but I enjoyed the moments. Anyhow, one time in particular sticks out in my mind. I walked into the weight room one day and was called into the coach's office. Coach Petito said "You're a ‘Husker fan, right?" The grin on my puss said it all. He then handed me a 1999 Nebraska offense poster that Eric had brought up from Lincoln for all of the guys on the team who wanted one. Pretty cool if you ask me. Yeah, I could go into highlights. The Run Part Deux, the Catch, The Heisman, it's all there. Eric was a good kid, he's a good guy and I appreciate everything he ever did for me. I doubt he remembers me at all, but that's cool. Even for a minute or two, I'll never forget playing catch with a Heisman winner.
4. Terrell Farley – What I remember of Terrell was not so much of a football player but an absolute freak. This is the type of football player that changes seasons, makes you wonder what would've happened if you had him lining up at linebacker for four whole years. Terrell was special and he knew it, too. He had to, after all. I learned two major lessons in football: Honesty is everything and to achieve, you have to believe. Terrell believed he was better than anyone on the opposing offense and often times, he would brutalize someone as a result. He's also what I call a "The Next Player". You'll hear someone see a kid playing college hoops and he'll be "The Next MJ" or you'll see a guy in semi-pro hockey and he'll be "The Next Wayne Gretsky". I always get giddy when I look at a recruit's tape and say, "Yeah…this kid? He's the next Terrell Farley."
5. Demorrio Williams - As much love as I have for Mr. Farley, I'd have to say that Super Demorrio was right next in line to him. Demorrio came up to Nebraska through the JUCO ranks, much like Terrell. He worked in oil fields, toiling and agonizing himself and then came to Nebraska for a taste of college football. In 2002, I believe Demorrio was mostly out of position, or at least in a formation that was horrible for his talents. In 2003, the real Demorrio shone through like the North Star cutting through the night sky. Utah State's 2003 QB may refer to his Lincoln visit as "The Pay Day That Wasn't worth It" as he can still feel Mr. Williams breathing down his neck and eventually slamming him into the FieldTurf harder than a five-day-old fried wonton. Today, Demorrio works out and anticipates life in the NFL. He deserves everything he's about to get. Much love, D-mo, much love.
So, we've gotten five out of the way and coming next week, we'll slap down the next batch of The Missed on ya. In the mean time, some team from Nebraska's going to be visiting Hawaii for a shot at continuing on in the NIT. Maybe you would consider catching them sometime.
Questions, commentary and other arbitrary Top 10s can be sent toBlankman71@cox.net