A two-time All-Big Eight selection, defensive end Tony Felici was a major part of a Blackshirt defense that led Nebraska to a final No. 3 national ranking, an Orange Bowl title, a Big Eight title and a 12-1 record as a senior in 1982.
Felici, an Omaha native and a graduate of Central High School, earned three letters playing for Coach Tom Osborne in 1980, 1981 and 1982. He helped the Huskers to a pair of Big Eight crowns (1981, 1982) and two Orange Bowl bids, including a 21-20 win over LSU in the 1983 classic. Against the Tigers, Felici notched five unassisted tackles, including one sack for seven yards lost. He also recorded a pass breakup.
His final game wrapped up a career that featured 140 tackles, including 86 solo stops. He finished with 28 tackles for loss in his career (121 yards lost), including 14 sacks. He added four fumble recoveries and five pass breakups during his time at NU. The Huskers went 31-6 as a team during Felici's three seasons on the field.
After seeing limited action with nine total tackles as a sophomore in 1980, Felici burst onto the scene for the Blackshirts as a junior in 1981. He had 17 tackles for loss for a team-high 99 yards lost, including eight sacks for a team-best 63 yards. He also recovered three fumbles and recorded three pass breakups to earn second-team All-Big Eight honors.
Felici was named the Big Eight Defensive Player of the Week after coming off the bench to record eight tackles, including six solos and a sack, in NU's 34-14 win over Florida State. He also recovered a fumble on a kickoff and raced 13 yards for a touchdown to give NU its second score of the game against the Seminoles. He stepped into the starting lineup after the win over FSU.
He finished his junior year with 66 total tackles, including 39 solos. He added five total tackles with three solos and one five-yard TFL in the 1982 Orange Bowl.
He continued to play a major role for the Blackshirts as a senior, leading the team with six sacks for 52 yards lost among his 10 tackles for loss (62 yards). He earned second-team All-Big Eight honors for the second straight season, after finishing with 65 total tackles, including 41 solos. He added a pair of pass breakups on the year.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Felici, Tony was born Jan. 3, 1960. He was a physical education major at Nebraska and earned a spot on the All-America Strength Team. Felici was an All-Metro quarterback and defensive end for Coach Bill Reed at Omaha Central.