Ruud Joins Family in Hall of Fame
Three former all-conference offensive linemen headlined by All-American and 12-year NFL veteran Russ Hochstein join Nebraska’s all-time leading tackler Barrett Ruud in a group of four Huskers being inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Hochstein, a two-time first-team All-Big 12 choice as an offensive guard for the Huskers in 1999 and 2000, joins 1971 All-Big Eight offensive tackle Carl Johnson and 1982 All-Big Eight offensive guard Mike Mandelko in this year’s Hall of Fame class.
Hochstein, an All-American for the Big Red in 2000, went on to an impressive 12-year career in the NFL that included a pair of Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots (2002-08). The Hartington, Neb., native spent three seasons with the Denver Broncos (2009-11) and one with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.
Hochstein began his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001, the same team that launched Ruud’s eight-year career in the league. Ruud, who is now on staff with Coach Bo Pelini’s program, spent his first six NFL seasons with the Buccaneers from 2005 through 2010. He spent 2011 with Tennessee before closing his career in Houston in 2012. In addition to owning a Nebraska record 432 total tackles, the Lincoln native is part of the most extensive family tradition in Husker football, dating back to his great-grandfather Clarence Swanson in 1921. Barrett will join his great-grandfather and his father, Tom, in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Johnson, who helped Coach Bob Devaney’s Big Red claim national titles in 1970 and 1971, was an All-Big Eight offensive tackle in 1971 before spending the 1972 and 1973 seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
Mandelko was a three-year letterman for Coach Tom Osborne’s Huskers from 1980 to 1982. The Lexington, Neb., native was an All-Big Eight choice as an offensive guard in 1982, helping the Huskers lead the nation with 394.3 rushing yards and 518.6 yards of total offense as a senior.
Nebraska-Kearney All-America quarterback Justin Coleman adds a state college flavor to the 2014 induction class. Coleman, a native of McCook, Neb., was the runner-up for the 2000 Harlon Hill Trophy and finished sixth nationally for NCAA Division II’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in 1999.
The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame also will honor legendary Husker Coach and Athletic Director Tom Osborne with its President’s Award in 2014. The Hall also will recognize Kim and Jill Wolfe of Columbus with its Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award. Dan and Lisa Koch of Elkhorn will be honored with the Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award.
More information on the special merit award winners will be provided at a later date.
The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame opened in South Bend, Ind., in 1995, and is scheduled to open its new headquarters in Atlanta in August of this year.
In order to make the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame ballot, players must have been either an All-American or first-team all-conference selection during their careers. They become eligible for the ballot after a 10-year waiting period from the end of their collegiate careers. Major national award winners earn automatic induction. Active NFL players are not on the ballot. Hochstein and Ruud earned induction in their first appearances on the ballot.
This year’s Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class will celebrate with an induction dinner on the University of Nebraska campus on Friday, Sept. 5. The class will be introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with McNeese State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The graduate of South Mountain High School played in the All-America Bowl following his senior season before being chosen in the fifth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He spent two NFL seasons with the Saints before closing his professional career with Portland in the WFL in 1974.
A team co-captain in 2000, Hochstein was also chosen as the winner of the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award before being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL Draft (151st overall pick).
Hochstein went on to one of the longest and most successful NFL careers of any Husker in history. The Cedar Catholic High School graduate spent 12 seasons with the Buccaneers, Patriots, Broncos and Chiefs. He won back-to-back Super Bowls with the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. In his 12-year career he played in 149 NFL games with 37 starts.
As a Husker, Hochstein started the final 29 games of his career, including every game of the 1999 and 2000 seasons. In Nebraska’s memorable 27-24 overtime win over Notre Dame, Hochstein was credited with a school-record tying 23 pancakes (knock-down blocks).
He produced four consecutive 100-tackle seasons from 2007 through 2010, when he started 63 games for the Buccaneers. He played in 113 career games with 78 starts.
Before heading to the NFL, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a third-team AP All-America linebacker for the Big Red in 2004, after claiming first-team All-Big 12 honors. A team captain and Nebraska’s Defensive MVP in 2004, he participated in the Senior Bowl in 2005.
A four-year letterman (2001-04) and a three-year starter, Ruud appeared in 50 games with 37 starts in his Husker career. His 432 total tackles included a school-record 218 unassisted stops. He notched 50 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. He also had 29 quarterback hurries and 12 pass breakups. In 2003, playing in his only season under then-Husker Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini, Ruud scored touchdowns on a 27-yard interception return against Texas A&M and a 15-yard fumble return against Oklahoma State. He also produced a then-school-record 149 tackles as a junior for the Big Red in 2003.
A Lincoln Southeast High School graduate, Ruud helped lead the Knights to a 48-2 record and 1997, 1998 and 2000 Class A state championships. He joins his great-grandfather Clarence Swanson (1919-22, inducted 1974) and his father Tom Ruud (1972-74, inducted 1997) in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
As a freshman in 1997, Coleman threw for a then-school record 2,804 yards. He broke his own record as a junior with 3,167 yards in 1999. He added 2,645 passing yards as a senior and 2,597 as a sophomore to own four of the top eight passing seasons in UNK history.
His prolific yardage totals included a school single-game record 483 yards against Wayne State on Sept. 4, 1999, when he also set the school record with six touchdown passes. He added six more TD strikes against Fort Lewis exactly one month later. He added five other 400-yard passing games in his career to own six of the top-11 single-game marks in the UNK record book.
Coleman, who finished sixth in voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy as a junior in 1999, added a school-record 99 career touchdown passes while throwing for a school-record 273.49 yards per game in his outstanding career.
Osborne, who was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1998, led Nebraska to three national championships (1994, 1995, 1997), 13 conference championships and 25 consecutive bowl games, including 17 major bowls in his 25 seasons as the Husker head coach. His teams won nine or more games every season and captured 11 national rushing titles.
The hand-picked successor of Hall of Fame Coach and Athletic Director Bob Devaney, Osborne was the offensive mastermind behind NU’s back-to-back national championship teams under Devaney in 1970 and 1971.
Osborne capped his coaching career with a 60-3 mark over his final season. He finished with a 255-49-3 career record from 1973 to 1997. His student-athletes won six Outlands, three Lombardis, one Heisman, one Butkus and one Johnny Unitas Award. They also captured 55 first-team All-America awards and 67 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
After serving the state of Nebraska in the U.S. Congress from 2000 to 2006, Osborne became the University of Nebraska’s 13th Athletic Director on Oct. 16, 2007. He led the Husker athletic department until his retirement on Jan. 2, 2013.
Osborne and his wife, Nancy, have three adult children, Mike, Ann and Suzanne, and four grandchildren. The Osborne family continues to pour time and support into the TeamMates mentoring program, which they founded in 1991. The program provides encouragement to school-aged youth to help them graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education.
The President’s Award is one of the most prestigious awards given by the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. It is presented by the Executive Committee to deserving individuals for outstanding leadership and service to the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Athletic Department and the Husker Football Program.
Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award