Former Husker Center Dies at 63
Tom Davis, a first-team All-American in 1977 who coach Tom Osborne at the time said was the best center Nebraska ever had, died Tuesday at an assisted living facility in Denver, his family confirmed. He was 63.
An Omaha native and graduate of Omaha North High School, Davis helped block his senior season for running back I.M Hipp, a second-team All-American who rushed for 1,352 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
Davis led an offensive line that helped Nebraska average 302.5 rushing yards per game that 1977 season, when the Huskers finished 9-3, including a 21-17 victory over North Carolina in the Liberty Bowl. He earned first team All-Big Eight honors in addition to his All-American recognition.
Davis lettered in football, basketball and wrestling at Omaha North and earned all-state football honors. He starred on the Nebraska freshman team in 1973 and redshirted in 1974 before seeing playing time as a backup in 1975.
As a junior in 1976, Davis took over the starting center position and earned honorable-mention All-Big Eight honors. He helped protect first-team All-American quarterback Vince Ferragamo and led an offensive line that helped Nebraska average 219.8 rushing yards per game. That included a season-best 449 rushing yards – 211 by running back Rick Bern – in a 68-3 victory over Hawaii.
In his final career game, Davis helped Nebraska to a 24-21 victory over Texas Tech in the Bluebonnet Bowl, then was drafted in the sixth round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.