Nebraska linebacker/captain Chris Weber (No. 49) led the Blackshirts this season with 95 tackles.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Wanted: More Walk-Ons Like Linebacker Chris Weber

By Randy York

Mike Riley Relieved of Head Football Coaching Duties

Morgan Sets Receiving Record in Season-Ending Loss

Huskers' Season Comes to a Disappointing End

Despite Nebraska’s worst team record in modern college football history, let the record show that the Huskers need more walk-ons like senior linebacker Chris Weber, who led the Blackshirts this season with 95 tackles, 15 more than fellow linebacker Dedrick Young.  

Productive walk-ons are Big Red blueprints and always will be pivotal for Nebraska to optimize its fabled program.

Weber showed his trademark class in his final game as a Husker before he will move on to his next step – the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Like every Husker fan, Weber wishes he could put his finger on why Nebraska’s defense collapsed after a 14-14 first-half, enabling Iowa to outscore Nebraska, 42-0 in the second half.

Frustrating was his first word. Difficult was the next adjective.

“Anytime you keep getting knocked down, you have to keep finding ways to get back up,” Weber said. “When you get the opportunity to play college football at Nebraska you should be excited to get up for games.”

Saturday was emotional for Weber (above), who tried to take in every moment from the Tunnel Walk to his family before the game.

“It obviously didn’t end how I would have liked it to end,” Weber said, adding that everyone knew what they were supposed to do on each play.

“The frustrating part is we didn’t execute,” Weber said. “To play great defense, it takes 11 guys in the right spots, doing their job how they should. When it doesn’t happen like that, it snowballs fast.”

Count Weber as one who respected Mike Riley and played as hard as he could every time he was on the field. “He’s meant a lot to me as a person and has helped me grow into a man,” Weber said. “I wish him the best.”

Weber hopes Nebraska uses this year’s lessons in a powerful way. “Personally, anytime you go through something difficult, you can use it as the springboard into the future,” Weber said. “You can pull from it and use it going forward.”

A past Nebraska captain and a possible future doctor, Weber always has respected Husker fans while growing up in Lincoln. “The fans here are incredible,” he said.  “Obviously, we had a difficult season, so for them to still show up and be loud like they were, I’ll never take that for granted. We have the best fans in college football.”

Here are four milestones worthy of recognition in Nebraska's final game of the 2017th season.

Junior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr., (above) finished 2017 with an NU receiving record after making seven catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. Morgan’s 986 yards receiving broke Johnny Rodgers’ single-season record of 942 yards in 1972. Morgan was 14 yards shy of becoming NU’s first 1,000-yard receiver.

Senior kicker Drew Brown (above) had two PATs Saturday, finishing his career fourth in school history with 355 points and second in school history with 59 field goals.

Senior receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El caught three passes Saturday for 39 yards to increase his career reception total to 100. Pierson-El is the 11th Husker player to record 100 career receptions.

Senior tight end Tyler Hoppes (above) caught four passes Saturday to increase his season total to 34 receptions, a Nebraska record for a tight end. The previous record was 32 receptions by Mike McNeill in 2008.

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