By Randy York
With the Huskers set to launch a three-game football series with Fresno State, the time seems right for a little Nebraska-California football trivia. Quick now, which California native was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Friday night? If you guessed Ralph Brown from Bishop Amat High School in Hacienda Heights, Calif., maybe you should visit the Husker Nation Pavilion Saturday for pre-game autographs from 4 to 5 p.m. If you have a ticket to the game, you can also cheer Ralph Brown, Mike Brown, Lawrence Pete, Carel Stith and Bob Terrio when the 2011 Hall-of-Fame Class, all Blackshirts, is introduced before kickoff.
Ralph Brown started 52 straight games at Nebraska, a school record that ranks No. 2 in NCAA history. He also owns NU records for pass breakups in a game, a season and a career. A co-captain in 1999, Ralph needed only seven semesters to graduate, meaning he could figure out the classroom every bit as well as he could diagnose an offense.
Ralph Brown is one of six Nebraska football players from the state of California that have earned First-Team All-America recognition. The other five, in order, are 1970 offensive tackle Bob Newton from LaMirada; 1976 quarterback Vince Ferragamo from Carson; 1980 I-back Jarvis Redwine from Inglewood; 1987 quarterback Steve Taylor from Fresno; and 1994 offensive guard Brenden Stai from Yorba Linda.
The starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV, Ferragamo was the only California native Husker to hit the daily double because he was also a First-Team Academic All-American. The Huskers had one other California native that earned first-team academic All-America distinction – 1979 defensive tackle Rod Horn from Fresno. Dick Rupert, an offensive guard on the 1971 national championship team that was honored last weekend as the best team ever, was a second-team Academic All-American. He’s a native of Los Angeles.
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