Nebraska's volleyball team was excited to receive national championship rings on Saturday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Husker Volleyball Meshes with Nebraska Football

By Randy York

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Serious football fans know that Scott Frost is a proven winner who went 36-2 in his three seasons as a Husker quarterback before going on to be a pivotal part of a 122-25 record in his 11-year coaching career.

Interconnected results that Frost produced in his collegiate career meshes well to John Cook's mastery in college volleyball.

Somehow, it seemed only fitting that Saturday’s Spring Game had a worthy footnote in the midst of 86,816 Husker fans who helped Nebraska gross more than $1 million in ticket sales.

Talk about irony. On the same day that college football’s greatest fans had the joint opportunity to support Nebraska’s most popular women’s sport in the same venue at halftime, we share another “How about that?”       

Sports Illustrated published a major piece Saturday about the University of Central Florida’s football team receiving its national championship rings in Orlando.

One word clarifies UCF’s point of view as the only 2017 undefeated national championship ring.

The beauty of it all is simply this – the undefeated UCF football players now have hardware to commemorate their own undefeated season with a self-declared 2017 national championship.

The greatest point? UCF players and coaches were given their Super Bowl-sized rings on the same Saturday that Nebraska volleyball players and coaches received their national championship rings.

Husker Fans Salute National Championship
Scott Frost is a unique commodity. He relishes Nebraska’s rich history in both sports and would be among the first to check out the facial expressions (above) from Husker volleyball players, who received their national championship rings at halftime of Saturday’s Spring Game.

The irony is so simple and so Nebraska-like.

The kicker to it all is Cook’s strong support and longtime fascination with Nebraska football. A diligent fan, he follows Frost’s transformative passion in hope that Nebraska football will indeed be great again.

Let the record also show that even though Nebraska football has not won a conference championship since 1999, Scott Frost earned two national championship rings (1995 and 1997) at Nebraska. He is also one of only four active FBS football coaches who won national titles both as a player and a coach.

Nine NFL Players Return to Honor Era
Another highlight Saturday was Nebraska football welcoming nine current NFL players back to Lincoln to honor Frost’s decision to turn down Florida and accept the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska, where his mom and dad both earned varsity letters – Carol Frost in track and field and Larry Frost in football.

The unanimous choice of the 2017 Paul “Bear” Bryant Award as the national college football coach of the year, Frost took the time Saturday to enjoy every moment of his return.

If you ever wonder how a quarterback can be so smart and so tough at the same time, remember these intriguing facts – 1) Frost was a starting quarterback at Stanford before returning to his home state that he missed immensely and 2) Frost is so tough that he played six years in the NFL, all six as a safety.

Nine Husker NFL Players Return to Memorial Stadium
Pictured from left below are nine NFL players who know and understand how tough Frost was in college and in the NFL. 

Defensive lineman Vincent Valentine (New England Patriots)

Offensive lineman Brent Qvale (New York Jets)

Offensive guard Alex Lewis (Baltimore Ravens)

Offensive lineman Spencer Long (Washington Redskins)

Linebacker Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Linebacker Will Compton (Tennessee Titans)

Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (Dallas Cowboys)

Linebacker Zaire Anderson (Denver Broncos)

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (Chicago Bears)

Nebraska’s Spring Game Covered All the Bases
Most Husker fans remember Scott Frost as the quarterback who helped Tom Osborne win his third and final national championship in 1997.

By the time Frost became an offensive coordinator for two Oregon teams that played for national championships, Scott’s stock multiplied when he transformed a winless University of Central Florida program into an unbeaten season two years later.  Nebraska was fortunate in the overall timing of everything that happened so perfectly.

In my opinion, the best thing about Frost this past week was sharing his private thoughts with Husker Nation about how much he misses Brook Berringer and the impact that he had on the entire team.

I’m happy to say Brook Berringer’s legacy remains intact and will be supported decade after decade.

Four Husker Players Made Citizenship Team Four Times
Nebraska honored 49 members of the 2018 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team before Saturday’s Spring Game kickoff in Memorial Stadium. The group includes four players who have made the Berringer Citizenship team four times and 31 who have made it at least two times.

The team was established in Brook’s honor after he died in a plane crash in April 1996. The award features players who have completed six or more service projects during the academic year and are in good academic standing.

Congratulations to four student-athletes – Freedom Akinmoladun, Jerald FosterLuke Gifford and Bo Kitrell. All four made their fourth appearance on the Berringer Citizenship Team. 

Husker Football established the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team to honor the Nebraska quarterback, who died in a plane crash in April of 1996. Berringer was a member of NU's back-to-back national championship teams in 1994 and 1995.

Berringer also was one of the most dedicated Husker volunteers in the community with youth, both in Nebraska and in his hometown of Goodland, Kan. The team honors players who display a similar love and dedication for volunteering in the community through Nebraska's nationally recognized Life Skills program.

Recipients must complete six or more service projects during the academic calendar year and remain in good academic standing.

2018 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (previous years selected)
Freedom Akinmoladun (2017, 2016, 2015) Austin Allen Fyn Anderson (2017, 2016) Mohamed Barry (2017, 2016) Dicaprio Bootle Andrew Bunch Tony Butler (2017) Damion Daniels Carlos Davis (2017, 2016) Khalil Davis (2017, 2016) Michael Decker (2016) JoJo Domann (2017) Tanner Farmer (2017, 2016) Matt Farniok Jerald Foster (2017, 2016, 2015) Christian Gaylord (2016) Tristan Gebbia Luke Gifford (2017, 2016, 2015) Willie Hampton Trent Hixson Branden Hohenstein Todd Honas (2017) Tyler Hoppes (2017) Matt Jarzynka (2017, 2016) Pernell Jefferson (2017) Grant Jordan (2017) Spencer Jordan (2017) Reid Karel (2017, 2016) Bo Kitrell (2017, 2016, 2015) Caleb Lightbourn (2017) Wyatt Mazour (2017, 2016) Hunter Miller DaiShon Neal (2017) Peyton Newell (2017, 2016) Patrick O’Brien (2017) Kurt Rafdal Bryan Reimers (2017) Dylan Reynolds Matt Sichterman Ben Stille (2017) Jack Stoll (2017) Mick Stoltenberg (2017) Eli Sullivan Chase Urbach (2017, 2016) Jackson Walker Jacob Weinmaster (2017, 2016)

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