Nebraska received a commitment Monday from Highlands Ranch (Colorado) Valor Christian quarterback Luke McCaffrey. Three takes on the decision:
» Football family now builds into a Big Ten rivalry. The McCaffreys — father Ed, mom Lisa, sons Christian, Max, Dylan and Luke — are kind of the first family of college football, in a sense. Christian had a star-studded career at Stanford, while Max started 38 games at Duke at receiver. Dylan is a redshirt freshman quarterback at Michigan — Nebraska offered, but to no avail — and now Luke, recruited as an athlete elsewhere, will get his shot at QB in Lincoln. This is a family that gets the stage, and Luke, having seen his older brothers go through it and achieve success, won’t be wide-eyed headed to college. His dad, Ed, caught 55 touchdowns in the NFL and won three Super Bowls with the 49ers and Broncos. Could Dylan square off against Luke in the 2021 game against Michigan? Hey, anything is possible.
» Four-sport athlete who can do a little of everything, including play quarterback. McCaffrey plays football, basketball, lacrosse and runs track at Valor Christian, one of the top programs in the state of Colorado. McCaffrey transitioned to quarterback during his junior year as he shared time with Colorado commit Blake Stenstrom. McCaffrey was good at QB — 878 yards passing, 76.1 percent completion rate — but he was all over the field with 548 yards rushing, 147 receiving and 229 in kick return yards. As a sophomore, he caught 47 passes for 717 yards and nine touchdowns. Bottom line: McCaffrey was a good enough overall athlete, like Christian and Max before him, to get offers from schools like UCLA, North Carolina and Virginia, and a good enough quarterback, like Dylan, to get a QB offer from Nebraska. He’s a dual-threat of a dual threat.
» Now that Nebraska has one quarterback, he’ll become a tentpole guy to which other recruits flock. NU has started June with a bang, landing Arizona Western offensive tackle Desmond Bland on Friday. Watch for dominoes to fall quickly, if Nebraska wants them to, for the rest of the month as it relates to the offense. McCaffrey is a high-profile name, and recruits who already know him, coupled with coach Scott Frost’s offense, will have piqued interest. Does Nebraska take a second quarterback, knowing McCaffrey can play multiple positions? Doesn’t seem necessary, but perhaps. McCaffrey’s upside is high enough, though, that he could stay at quarterback and make for a fun race in future years. His game is reminiscent enough, too, of Penn State’s Tommy Stevens that, like PSU does with Stevens, he could do multiple things in the offense while waiting his turn. Former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a similar trajectory.
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Jan. 1, 1964: Nebraska defeated Auburn 13-7 in the Orange Bowl. "It was true what they said about Nebraska being a big, strong and resourceful football team," Miami Herald sports editor Jimmy Burns wrote after the game. "The Cornhuskers lived up to that reputation here."
Jan. 2, 1967: Alabama defeated Nebraska 34-7 in the Sugar Bowl. It was the worst defeat suffered by Nebraska since Oklahoma topped Bob Devaney’s first Husker squad, 34-6, in 1962. Nebraska quarterback Bob Churchich did set a then-NU passing record with 21 completions.
Dec. 20, 1969: Nebraska defeated Georgia 45-6 in the Sun Bowl. "Nebraska's mean Cornhuskers kicked the Georgia Bulldog to death in the first quarter Saturday," then-World-Herald sports editor Wally Provost wrote. The Huskers had six interceptions and recovered two fumbles in the rout.
Jan. 1, 1973: Nebraska defeated Notre Dame 40-6 in the Orange Bowl. The win marked the final game in coach Bob Devaney's career. "A golden era in Cornhuskerdom ended late Monday night in the sauna bath-like heat of the Orange Bowl with the man who made it all possible riding high on the shoulders of his players," The World-Herald's Tom Allan wrote. "And riding even higher in the hearts of all Nebraskans."
Jan. 1, 1974: Nebraska knocked off Texas 19-3 in the Cotton Bowl. Steve Runty, who was playing his final game, waited through a redshirt season and three more years as a substitute before finally getting his chance in the second half against the Longhorns. The Huskers broke a 3-3 tie and outscored Texas 16-0 with Runty under center.
Dec. 26, 1975: Arizona State defeated Nebraska 17-14 in the Fiesta Bowl. Dan Kush, son of ASU coach Frank Kush, was given playing time after his mom "threatened" the coach. It worked, as the kicker connected on three field goals, including the game-winner from 29-yards out with 4:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Dec. 30, 1976: Nebraska defeated Texas Tech 27-24 in the Astro-Blue Bonnet Bowl. Husker defensive lineman Ron Pruitt stripped the ball from Red Raider quarterback Rodney Allison in the closing seconds, and Reg Gast recovered to clinch the NU victory.
The Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl
Jan. 1, 1982: Clemson defeated Nebraska 22-15 in the Orange Bowl to claim the national championship. Roger Craig's 26-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter cut the Tigers' lead from 22-7, but NU couldn't finish the comeback.
Jan. 1, 1986: Nebraska lost to Michigan 27-23 in the Fiesta Bowl. The Huskers had more rushing yards (304-171), more passing yards (66-63), more return yards (20-3), more time of possession (32:01 to 27:59) and a better ratio of third-down conversions (7 of 17 to 4 of 14), but also had four turnovers to Michigan's none.
Jan. 1, 1988: Florida State topped Nebraska 31-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. Nebraska I-back Tyreese Knox’s fumble at the Florida State 3-yard line kept the Huskers from turning a 28-24 lead into an 11-point edge with 6:58 left in the game, and FSU quarterback Danny McManus finished a 97-yard, game-winning drive with a 15-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal.