By Randy York
Thursday morning was a meaningful moment for Nebraska football, its rich history and everything it stands for, including the Blackshirts, who earned their reputation as a swarming, brother-to-brother defense that diagnosed, tracked down, and then attacked offensive opponents with a hard-hitting, single-minded purpose. The Husker Legacy Statue returned home, moving back to the place where it belongs – outside the East Memorial Stadium entrance that has greeted Nebraska fans since 1923 and has included the Legacy Statue anchor since 1997, the final season of Tom Osborne’s legendary coaching career. The two-ton statue, encased in bronze, originally was placed near the street loop off Vine Street that leads to the stadium. From 1997 to 2011, it stood in that familiar place until East side expansion triggered a temporary move to Memorial Stadium’s northwest corner.
Artist Fred Hoppe sculpted the statue as a tribute to Nebraska tradition, depicting six Husker defensive players tackling a Kansas State player. Hoppe modeled the statue after a 1995 Richard Voges photograph for the Nebraska Athletic Department. Hoppe said the statue “represents the whole attitude of Nebraska football” while “emphasizing the teamwork and dedication that Nebraska football symbolizes.” Welcome back, Legacy Statue, and here’s hoping you also become a symbol for our special 125th anniversary season.
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