Honors & Awards
- 13-Year NFL Career (Detroit, 1995-2006; Miami, 2007)
- Sixth-Round NFL Draft Pick (Detroit Lions, 1995)
- Honorable-Mention All-Big Eight (Coaches, 1994)
- Academic All-Big Eight (1994)
- Husker Co-Lifter-of-the-Year (1993)
One of the standouts in a historic lineage of great Husker fullbacks, Cory Schlesinger enjoyed a prolific NFL career after making history in the Nebraska backfield. The Duncan, Neb., native scored a pair of touchdowns to cap the Huskers' come-from-behind win over the Miami Hurricanes in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Schlesinger's hard-charging runs through the heart of the Hurricane defense gave the Huskers a 24-17 win to cap a 13-0 season and its first national title since 1971.
A three-year letterman for the Huskers, Schlesinger finished his senior season with 456 yards and four touchdowns on just 63 carries for 7.2 yards per tote. He added 48 yards and two scores on six attempts in the Orange Bowl.
Following his senior season, Schlesinger was chosen in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He proved to be a brilliant pick for the Lions, as he spent the next 12 seasons pounding away in the Detroit backfield.
From 1995 to 2006, Schlesinger played 181 games for the Lions, carrying 167 times for 473 yards and five touchdowns. He was even more dangerous as a receiver, hauling in 197 receptions for 1,445 yards and nine scores in his career in Detroit.
He enjoyed his best season in 2001 when he posted 60 receptions for 466 yards, while adding 47 carries for a career-best 154 yards on the ground.
Schlesinger was on the Miami Dolphins roster in 2007, but he did not play in a game for the Dolphins.
Schlesinger capped a stellar senior season with a heroic effort in the national championship against Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl. He carried six times for 48 yards, including the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns in a 24-17 win over the Hurricanes.
Schlesinger's first score against the Hurricanes came on a 15-yard burst with 7:38 left in the game, and was followed by Tommie Frazier's two-point conversion pass to tight end Eric Alford to tie the score at 17.
Less than five minutes later, Schlesinger ripped off a nearly identical 14-yard run to produce the national championship-winning score with 2:46 left in the game.
The honorable-mention All-Big Eight selection finished his senior season with 456 yards and four touchdowns on 63 carries, before adding his Orange Bowl totals. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry on the season and 38 yards per game.
Schlesinger rushed for a career-high 84 yards on six carries in the win over Texas Tech, including a career-long 41-yard burst. He added 65 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run, on a season-high eight carries in the victory over Colorado. He also rushed for 51 yards and a career-best two touchdowns on just three carries in a win over Pacific. Against the Tigers, he scored two first-quarter touchdowns, including a 39-yard scamper to stake NU to a 28-0 lead in a 70-21 blowout. He was just the sixth NU fullback in history to score two touchdowns in the same game.
Overall, Schlesinger reeled off five runs of 25 or more yards in 1994, including a 40-yard touchdown run against Kansas. He added 31 yards on eight carries in the season-opening win over West Virginia in the Kickoff Classic.
Solid in the classroom, Schlesinger added first-team academic All-Big Eight honors as a senior industrial technology major.
Schlesinger took over the starting duties at fullback as a junior after backing up Lance Lewis in 1992. Schlesinger finished the season as NU's fifth-leading rusher with 193 yards and a touchdown on 48 carries. He averaged 4.0 yards per carry and 17.6 yards per game.
He dashed for a season-long 16-yard run against North Texas, before adding his lone touchdown of the year on a 13-yard sprint against Kansas State. He carried six times for 29 yards against the Wildcats.
He produced a season-high 30 yards on a career-best 10 carries against Colorado. Schlesinger also played a key role on special teams, producing five tackles. He played in the 1994 Orange Bowl national championship game against Florida State, but he did not have a carry or a tackle.
After redshirting in 1991, Schlesinger joined Andre McDuffy in backing up starter Lance Lewis at fullback for the Huskers. Schlesinger finished his first season on the varsity with 16 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. He scored his lone touchdown on a five-yard run against Colorado. He had a season-high nine-yard run against Utah to finish with a season-best 14 yards against the Utes. He carried a season-best four times for nine yards against Kansas.
A standout on special teams, Schlesinger notched nine tackles, including four solos. He played in the 1993 Orange Bowl, but did not record a carry.
Redshirt Season (1991)
Schlesinger redshirted for the Huskers.
A scholarship recruit, Schlesinger started at fullback for Nebraska's junior varsity. He finished as the team's second-leading rusher with 229 yards and two touchdowns in the team's five-game season. He also caught four passes for 42 yards.
Columbus High School
A two-time all-state linebacker for Coach Dick Luebbe, Schlesinger also played fullback as a senior in 1989, when he rushed for 1,514 yards and 23 touchdowns while topping the 100-yard mark in nine games. He led the Discovers in tackles as a junior and senior, including 117 as a senior in 1989, when he was named the state defensive player of the year.
Schlesinger played with fellow Husker Joel Wilks (Hastings High School) and a group of Nebraska high school stars in the Down Under Bowl in Sydney, Australia. He was also a two-time 189-pound state wrestling champion and toured with an all-star wrestling team in Quebec, Canada.
The son of Gary and Joan Schlesinger, Cory was born on June 23, 1972, in Columbus, Neb. He was a volunteer speaker at the 1993 Omaha Youth Rap Session. He has two brothers, Scott and Ross. He enjoys driving in demolition derbies during the summer. He was an academic All-Big Eight selection as an industrial technology major at Nebraska.
Schlesinger's Career Statistics
||Husker Junior Varsity|
||9 vs. Utah
||16 vs. North Texas
||41 vs. Texas Tech
41 vs. Texas Tech
Tackles: 7 UT, 8 AT, 15 Total; 4 UT, 5 AT, 9 TT in 1992; 2 UT, 3 AT, 5 TT in 1993: 1 UT, 0 AT, 1 TT in 1994
Kickoff Returns: 2-30; 1-14 in 1993; 1-16 in 1994
Rushing Attempts - 10 (30 yards) vs. Colorado, 1993
Rushing Yards - 84 (6 carries) vs. Texas Tech, 1994
Long Rush - 41 yards, vs. Texas Tech, 1994
Rushing TDs - 2 vs. Pacific, 1994 (tied school record)
Long TD - 40 yards vs. Kansas, 1994
1993 Orange Bowl – Rushing, none
1994 Orange Bowl – Rushing, none
1995 Orange Bowl (National Championship Game) – 6-48, 2 TD