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#21 Philip Bland
Position: Strong Safety
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 200
Year: Junior
City/State: Lafayette, Colo.
High School: Fairview
  • 2002 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press)
  • 2002 First-Team Academic All-Big 12
  • Two-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll (2002, 2003)
  • 2002 Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll

2003 Outlook
A versatile performer in the Husker secondary the past two years, Philip Bland is expected to play a key role at strong safety in 2003. Bland missed all of spring practice while recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, but is the likely starter at strong safety when Nebraska opens the 2003 season. Husker coaches like Bland?s intelligence and toughness and will count on him for leadership on defense this fall.

Bland earned starts at both free safety and rover last season, and earned honorable-mention all-conference honors from both the league coaches and Associated Press. Bland could contend for bigger honors this fall, and once healthy he will join five other players in the Husker secondary with at least five career starts.

Bland started all 13 regular-season games in 2002 and finished third on the team with 84 total tackles, including 44 solo stops. The versatile defender started at free safety in the first seven games, before making the switch to rover for the final six games of the regular season. The hard-hitting Bland missed the Independence Bowl with a hamstring injury.

Bland was one of three true freshmen to play for Nebraska in 2001, starting three games at rover. He played in 11 games as a freshman and recorded 24 tackles, including nine solo stops. Bland is also a candidate for academic honors. Last fall he was a first-team academic All-Big 12 pick and carries a 3.383 grade-point average in business administration.

2002 (Sophomore)
Bland made the most of his first season as a full-time starter in the Husker secondary. He was Nebraska?s leading tackler through the regular season with 84 stops, including 44 solo tackles, and finished third on the team after missing the Independence Bowl with an injury. Bland was honored for his performances both on the field and in the classroom. He was an honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection and was a first-team academic All-Big 12 pick.

Bland closed the regular season with a career-high 13 tackles against Colorado, one of seven games in which he had seven or more stops. He added six tackles for loss and five breakups and his only career interception sealed Nebraska?s 38-31 comeback victory at Texas A&M.

Bland had seven tackles and a breakup in a 31-16 win over Troy State. He had nine stops and a breakup vs. McNeese State, forced a fumble against Missouri, and posted his first career double-figure tackle game with 10 stops at Oklahoma State. In addition to his game-saving interception at Texas A&M, Bland had nine tackles, including a tackle for loss. He added seven tackles vs. Texas and eight stops against Kansas State. Against the Longhorns, Bland had a quarterback hurry that caused Chris Simms to throw an interception. He missed the bowl game because of a hamstring injury.

2001 (Freshman)
Bland started three games at rover as a true freshman in 2001, filling in at the position when regular starter Willie Amos missed three games with an injury at midseason. He appeared in 11 games and recorded 24 tackles, including nine solo stops. He had a season-high seven tackles against Troy State and had one pass breakup (TCU) on the season. Bland performed well when he filled in as a starter (Rice, Iowa State, Baylor), including a six-tackle effort vs. the Cyclones.

Bland was limited late in the season by a foot injury, and missed the Kansas State and Colorado contests. He was still hampered by the foot injury, but played in the 2002 Rose Bowl and recorded one solo tackle.

Before Nebraska (Fairview HS)
One of three recruits from Colorado in the 2001 class, Bland was also recruited by Notre Dame, Colorado, Colorado State and Kansas State. He was a first-team all-state safety by both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, and also made the Post?s 2001 Blue Chip List. As a senior at Fairview, Bland played rover and receiver for Coach Tom McCartney and recorded 90 tackles and two interceptions, despite playing seven games with a cast on his broken hand. He saw little action at receiver as a senior because of the injury. A three-year starter, Bland recorded 70 tackles and two interceptions as a junior, earning all-county and all-league honors. Bland also lettered two years in baseball, earning second-team all-league honors as a junior and senior.

Personal
The son of Sarah and Richard Bland, Philip was born on Jan. 2, 1983. He majors in business administration and owns a 3.383 cumulative grade-point average. Bland?s father played safety for Colorado from 1971 to 1973. Philip was a member of the 2002 Nebraska Football Unity Council.

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Tackles

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Fum.

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QB

Int.

Year

G/S

UT

AT

TT

TFL

Sacks

C-R

BK

PBU

PI

Hry.

Csd.

2001

10/3

9

15

24

1-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

1

0

2002 13/13 44 40 84 6-16 0-0 1-1 0 5 1 3 1

Totals

23/16

53

55

108

7-18

0-0

1-1

0

6

1

4

1

2002 Rose Bowl vs. Miami: Tackles, UT 1, AT 0, TT 1
2002 Independence Bowl vs. Ole Miss: injured, did not play

Career Highs
Tackles?
13 vs. Colorado, 2002
Solo Tackles?
8 vs. Colorado, 2002
TFL?
1, seven times
Quarterback Hurries?
2 vs. Texas, 2002
Passes Broken Up?1, six times

First National Bank
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