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#14 Gerry Gdowski
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Year: Senior
City/State: Fremont, Neb.
High School: Fremont

Honors & Awards

  • Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductee (2000)
  • Eighth-Round Draft Pick, 1989 NFL Draft (New Orleans)
  • Big Eight Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Year (1989)
  • Nebraska Co-Captain (1989)
  • National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete
  • CoSIDA Academic All-American (1988, 1989)
  • Academic All-Big Eight (1988, 1989)
  • Chamberlin Trophy (1989)

Senior (1989)
Gdowski put together a storybook senior season, breaking or tying 11 school records, winning a host of honors and coming within an eyelash of leading the Huskers to an unbeaten regular-season and a second-straight Big Eight title.  The only blemish on Gdowski's and Nebraska's record in 1989 was a 27-21 loss at Colorado on Nov. 4.  In that game, Gdowski rolled up 280 total-offense yards against a defense that had been giving up 301 per game, and threw three TD passes. 

Unheralded at the start of the season, the fourth-year senior put up some of the best numbers ever for a Husker QB.  He completed 71 of 136 passes (52.2 percent) for 1,326, threw only two interceptions (none in his last 92 attempts) for a school-record interception percent of 1.47, and threw 19 TD passes, one of Vince Ferragamo's school record.  He threw at least one TD pass in 10 of NU's last 11 games, including each of the last nine contests, and exploded for 10 in the last three games.  All those figures came together for an NCAA pass rating of 177.3 points, another school record, and one which surpasses the NCAA record of 176.9 set by Brigham Young's Jim McMahon in 1980--but Gdowski averaged only 12.4 attempts per game, and the NCAA minimum is 15. 

Gerry also proved to be the Huskers' biggest rushing threat ever at QB, as he ran for 925 yards, breaking the position record of 826 set by Taylor just the year before, and 13 TDs, tying Taylor's 1988 QB record.  His four rushing TDs and 174 yards on the ground against Iowa State were both position records, while his 74-yard TD run vs. the Cyclones was the longest ever by a Nebraska QB and the longest run for a Husker in 1989.

That performance helped him average 7.91 yards per attempt in 1989, breaking the old school record (minimum 100 att.) of 7.81 set by IB Mike Rozier in his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 1983.  Gdowski's rushing and passing stats combined for a school-record 32 total-offense TDs, and 2,251 total-offense yards, second only to Jerry Tagge's record of 2,333 in 1971--but Tagge played 12 games that season, to Gdowski's 11 in 1989.  Gdowski's per-game average of 204.6 broke Tagge's old mark of 194.4. 

Gdowski's top total offense came at Oklahoma State, where he rushed for 125 yards and passed for 170, giving him 295 yards on the day, the fifth-best game in Nebraska history and the Huskers' best in 16 seasons.  He capped his season with the finest passing game a Nebraska player has ever had against Oklahoma, completing 12 of 15 passes for 225 yards and a career-high four TDs.  His 294.0 pass rating in that game ranks as the second-highest ever at NU.  Gerry was named Big Eight offensive player-of-the-week for his performances against Iowa State and Oklahoma.

In final Big Eight stats, he was first in passing efficiency (177.3), second in total offense (204.6 ypg), sixth in rushing (84.1 ypg) and eighth in scoring (7.1 ppg).  Gdowski shared Big Eight offensive player-of-the-year with Colorado quarterback Darian Hagan. 

1988 (Junior)
Gdowski saw action at quarterback in seven of 12 regular-season games, plus the Orange Bowl vs. Miami, and completed five of eight passes for 64 yards.  He rushed 17 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

1987 (Sophomore)
A solid spring allowed Gdowski to avoid a redshirt year as he moved to third on the depth chart behind senior Clete Blakeman and the starter, Steve Taylor.  Gdowski played in six games and completed one of two passes for eight yards and rushed 18 times for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

1986 (Freshman)
Gdowski led the Huskers' 4-1 freshman squad in rushing (269 yards, one TD on 55 attempts), passing (16 of 49, 336 yards, one TD), and total offense (575 yards).

At Fremont HS
Gdowski was named Nebraska high school athlete-of-the-year by the Omaha World-Herald in 1985 and by the Lincoln Journal & Star in 1986.  A two-time all-state selection in football for his father, Coach Gerry Gdowski, Sr., he also earned all-state honors in basketball as a senior, and was a dominant figure in the state high school track meet for four years, winning eight Gold Medals in his first three years, including four as a junior in 1985---in the 400- and 800-meter runs and as part of Fremont's winning 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams.

Personal
The son of Gerry Sr. and Carol Gdowski, Gerry was born Aug. 6, 1967 in Kearney, Neb.  His cousin, Tom Gdowski, played for Nebraska in the early 1980s.

Passing

Year

Att.

Cmp.

Int.

Pct.

Yds.

TD

1987

2

1

0

.500

8

0

1988

8

5

0

.625

64

0

1989

136

71

2

.522

1,326

19

Totals

146

77

2

.527

1,398

19

Rushing

Year

No.

Yards

Avg.

Rushing TD’s

1987

18

131

7.3

2

1988

17

158

9.1

2

1989

117

925

7.9

13

Totals

152

1,211

8.0

17

First National Bank
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