Title teams go Tinseltown in '30 for 30'

LINCOLN — The roller coaster ride of Nebraska's 1994 and 1995 national title seasons will get ESPN's "30 for 30" treatment, a documentary film director said in an interview with WOWT Channel 6 on Sunday night.

Eric Drath, the director of the 2013 "30 for 30" documentary "No Mas" and several other films for ESPN, said the network is planning a film on the Huskers' best-known squads. The 1994 team overcame injuries and long odds to win Tom Osborne's first national title, while the tumultuous 1995 team — perhaps the best in college football history — dominated on the field while off-field incidents involving prominent players such as I-back Lawrence Phillips jabbed at the program's reputation.

"This is not going to be an indictment of Nebraska or Nebraska football," Drath said in the WOWT interview. "It's also not going to portray this, like, wonderful season of victories without some of the things that happened off the field."

Drath, who works with Live Star Entertainment, did not return several phone messages for interview requests left by The World-Herald on Monday.

According to WOWT, Drath is deep into the interview process that typically makes up "30 for 30" films. This film is likely to air sometime in the fall and does not yet have a title.

Another film, "Berringer," produced in 2014 by the Big Ten Network, was about former NU quarterback Brook Berringer, who figured prominently into the 1994 season and died in a plane crash in April 1996. That movie covered some of the 1994 season but didn't include much of the negative publicity that would accompany the 1995 season.

ESPN's "30 for 30" series has covered the Miami Hurricanes football dynasty, the USC football mini-dynasty under Pete Carroll, the NCAA scandal involving SMU's football program, former Oklahoma running back Marcus Dupree and several other college football topics.

Collins has to show athleticism

According to ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper, former Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins has some work to do at this week's NFL combine if he wants to be a first-round pick.

Collins, who opted to enter the draft after three seasons at NU, didn't have the week-to-week production of a first-round draft pick this season, Kiper said, so he'll have to go to the combine and present himself as a "freak athlete" to potentially cement being picked in the first round.

Otherwise, he could drop to the second or even the third round.

"He needs to show he's a first round caliber talent," Kiper said on a conference call.

Collins put himself in position to declare early for the draft after a strong sophomore season in which he had 14 tackles for loss. Collins benefited, to some degree, from the presence of former defensive end Randy Gregory, a second round pick in last year's draft.

This season, Collins finished with 29 tackles and seven tackles for loss, but he also had two former walk-ons — Jack Gangwish and Ross Dzuris — playing defensive end on either side of him, a new defensive scheme to learn and a new defensive line coach.

Collins will work out Saturday at the combine along with former Husker defensive tackle Vincent Valentine, who also declared after his junior year, although Valentine also graduated with his degree.

Kiper said Valentine has a third or fourth-round grade, which hasn't changed recently. Limited by injuries, Valentine only logged a handful of tackles this season.

Contact the writer: 402-219-3790, sam.mckewon@owh.com twitter.com/swmckewonOWH


"Unbeatable," by The World Herald's Henry J. Cordes, takes an inside look at Tom Osborne's coaching pinnacle: his seasons in the 1990s that produced three national championships.

Cordes takes you inside the locker room and along the sideline to hear the voices of the people who forged this era of dominance. The book, which costs $29.95, can be ordered online at OWHstore.com or by phone at 402-444-1014.

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