Honors & Awards
- Member of Two Nebraska National Championship Teams (1994, 1995)
- University of Nebraska Graduate (December, 1995)
- Phillips 66 Academic All-Big Eight (1995)
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Nominee (1995)
- Second-Team All-Big Eight (AP, 1994)
- Honorable-Mention All-Big Eight (Coaches, 1994)
- ABC/Chevrolet Nebraska Player-of-the-Game (Oklahoma, 1994)
- Four-Time Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Week Nominee (1994)
- 7-0 Record as NU's Starting Quarterback (1994)
Brook Berringer led the Huskers to the national title game in 1994 with a 7-0 record as a starter. Berringer was called to action when Tommie Frazier went out with blood clots. Berringer was instrumental in the Huskers' 24-17 win over Miami for the 1994 national title in the Orange Bowl, hitting tight end Mark Gilman for a 19-yard touchdown to bring NU within 10-7. Berringer served as Frazier's backup in 1995 as well in the Huskers' run for their second title. With good size, speed and arm strength, he was sure to be picked in the 1996 NFL Draft on April 20-21, but was killed in a plane crash on April 18. In his career, Berringer passed for 1,769 yards, rushed for 396 and scored 20 touchdowns.
Berringer spent majority of his senior season on the sideline after narrowly losing the starting job to a returning Frazier. Berringer selflessly accepted his backup role, appearing in nine games, completing 26-of-51 passes for 252 yards, as the Huskers rolled to a second straight national title.
Berringer was 94-of-151 passing in 1994 for 1,295 yards. He owned a 62.3 completion percentage with 10 TDs and five interceptions. With his 1,000 passing yards, Berringer joined 18 other Huskers who had accomplished that feat before him (since 1946). His pass efficiency rating stood at 149.5, which led the Big Eight and would have ranked seventh nationally (did not qualify for NCAA rankings which required at least 15 attempts per game).
Although he started just seven games, Berringer ranked second in the Big Eight to KSU's Chad May in touchdown passes with 10 on the season. His 62.3 completion percentage (.630 in 1993) was the best for a Husker starter on a season since Craig Sundberg completed 53-of-84 in 1984 (.631). Berringer passed for over 100 yards in seven games, including the last five. He rushed 71 times for 279 yards and six touchdowns (3.9 yards per carry, 23.3 yards per game) and was sacked just five times. Berringer started 99 drives and led NU to a score on 40 of them (35 TDs) for a 41.4 efficiency rating. He was 26-of-32 (.813) on drives in the red zone. He earned second-team All-Big Eight honors from the Associated Press and honorable-mention by the coaches.
Berringer backed up Frazier the first three games, and had seven yards of total offense vs. West Virginia; 15 vs. Texas Tech; 27 vs. UCLA; then played extensively vs. Pacific in the fourth game (8-15, 120 yards passing and three TDs, 6-32 rushing with one score). He got his first career start against Wyoming when Frazier went out with a blood clot. Berringer unknowingly played the second half of the game with a partially-collapsed left lung (30-40 percent), suffered on NU's last scoring drive of the first half on a hit that also cracked a rib. Nebraska was down 21-7 with 2:12 left before halftime when Berringer orchestrated a beautiful two-minute drill beginning at the NU 36-yard line, completing seven straight passes for 59 yards and scoring on a five-yard jaunt. Despite the injury, he still led NU back from a 21-14 halftime deficit, rushing for 74 yards and three TDs while going 15-of-22 passing for 131 yards.
Berringer started the next week against Oklahoma State, (10-15-75 passing, 2-5 rushing) but did not play the second half as pre-ordered X-rays at intermission showed the lung was again deflating (20 percent). Berringer did not start against Kansas State due to sore ribs and his lung, but came in with a 7-6 NU lead, which walk-on quarterback Matt Turman had already established. Berringer played the last series of the first half and the entire second half and led NU to a touchdown and field goal for the 17-6 win in Manhattan against the undefeated and nationally ranked Wildcats, but was extremely limited in his mobility (2-7-37 passing, 2-5 rushing).
Against Missouri, Berringer's game was again limited, but he still had a then-career-best 152 yards passing with three TDs (9-13, no interceptions) and rushed five times for 23 yards. And in the biggest game of his short career, the junior from Goodland, Kan., went against one of the nation's toughest defenses and pegged No. 2 Colorado for 142 yards passing and two rushing. He completed 12-of-17 passes, including a 30-yard strike to Eric Alford for a touchdown to put NU up 24-0. He did throw one interception.
Berringer improved even more the next week with a 267-yard passing performance (13-18, 0 interceptions, 2 TDs) vs. Kansas, tying the seventh-best passing mark by a Husker, the best since Dave Humm's 292 vs. Missouri, Oct. 13, 1973. Berringer had a career-long 64-yard TD pass to Clester Johnson, a 51-yard TD to Reggie Baul, and three other non-scoring passes over 25 yards (49 to Baul, 37 to Benning, 28 to Alford).
Berringer had 193 passing yards (11-18) and 61 rushing against Iowa State, then 166 passing (13-23) and 48 rushing against Oklahoma. His 460 passing yards against Kansas and Iowa State represented the best back-to-back passing games for a Nebraska quarterback since Vince Ferragamo threw for 218 yards against TCU and 264 the following week against Miami in 1976. Over the last five regular-season games, Berringer passed for over 100 yards each time and completed 65.2 percent of his passes (58-89) for 920 yards (184 per game) and seven TDs.
1995 Orange Bowl vs. Miami: Although Frazier won back the starting job in the Huskers' last scrimmage in Miami on Dec. 24, Berringer was a key contributor in the 24-17 win that gave Nebraska its third national championship in school history and first since 1971. Berringer started the second quarter after NU's two first quarter drives stalled and Miami jumped to a 10-0 lead. Berringer's first drive wasn't productive, but on the second, he led NU to its first score on a five-play, 40-yard drive in 2:20, as he hit tight end Mark Gilman for a 19-yard strike. Berringer played all of the third quarter, but gave way to Frazier and fresh legs in the fourth. In the game, Berringer rushed seven times for 16 yards but was sacked twice resulting in minus-four net yards. He completed 8-of-15 passes for 81 yards, including the 19-yard touchdown. He did throw one interception.
As a sophomore, Berringer passed for 222 yards as Frazier's backup. When Frazier suffered an ankle sprain on the first play of the season opener and left the game the next play, Berringer came in and performed like a seasoned veteran, leading the Huskers to a 76-14 win against North Texas. He connected on all seven of his passing attempts for 124 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for two touchdowns on three carries. With the loss of fellow backup Tony Veland to a season-ending knee injury in the second game, Berringer filled a crucial role. He played in 10 games (all except Oklahoma) and finished the year 17-of-27 passing (.630) for 222 yards, two TDs and one interception. He rushed 10 times for 15 yards and two scores.
Berringer had three carries for minus-three yards while going 0-of-2 passing over five games.
A scholarship athlete, Berringer redshirted in 1991.
Before Nebraska (Goodland Prep High School)
An all-state quarterback in Kansas' third-largest class (3A), Berringer completed 47-of-98 passes for 979 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior in 1990. He was an all-conference selection in football and basketball. He was also named an all-state defensive back by the Kansas City Star. He led his school to the state basketball tournament his senior year by averaging nearly 20 points per game.
The son of Jan and the late Warren Berringer, Brook was born on July 9, 1973, in Scottsbluff, Neb. Brook majored in business administration and earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in December of 1995. One of the Huskers' most active community leaders, Brook was a volunteer speaker at several area hospitals, participating in the School is Cool Jam, Ventures in Partnership, the SCIP Drug Prevention Program and National Education Week, to name a few. Berringer was also an ambassador for the Husker athletic department.
Berringer's Career Statistics
1995 Orange Bowl vs. Miami: Rushing, 7-4-0 Passing, 15-8-1, 81 yards, 1 TD
1996 Fiesta Bowl vs. Flordia: Rushing, 1-1-1