Former Huskers Ralph Brown, Aaron Taylor and Grant Wistrom were among 26 players named to the Big 12 Conference’s 10th Anniversary football team, as announced by the league office on Thursday.
Brown was one of four defensive backs honored, along with Oklahoma’s Roy Williams, Terrence Newman of Kansas State and Quentin Jammer of Texas. Brown earned first-team All-Big 12 honors three consecutive seasons from 1997 to 1999. A native of Hacienda Heights, Calif., Brown also earned first-team All-America honors in 1999 and left a large mark in the Nebraska record book.
Brown started all 52 games in his Nebraska career, a Husker record, and also holds NU records for pass breakups in a game (7) and career (50). Brown finished his career with 11 interceptions to rank tied for fourth on the Huskers’ career chart. He had four interceptions and broke up 12 passes as a freshman in 1996, when he was a first-team freshman All-American and was the 1996 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Taylor was a key figure in a pair of Nebraska national championships and capped his career by winning the 1997 Outland Trophy. Taylor was the first Husker player to earn first-team All-America honors at two different positions. After starting at guard in 1995, Taylor moved to center for his junior season and was a first-team All-America pick. As a senior he moved back to offensive guard and was a consensus first-team All-American in 1997, helping Nebraska to its third national title in four seasons.
Taylor was also selected to the all-conference teams in each of his three seasons as a starter. In 1995, he earned first-team All-Big Eight honors in the league’s final year, helping Nebraska average 399.8 yards rushing and capture a national title. He followed that up by being named a first-team All-Big 12 pick in both 1996 and 1997, as NU again led the nation in rushing in 1997.
Wistrom was a physical presence and emotional leader for Nebraska’s defensive unit from 1994 to 1997. Wistrom was the 1997 Lombardi Award Winner and was a first-team All-America selection in both 1996 and 1997. Wistrom was a three-time first-team all-conference pick, including earning All-Big 12 honors in both 1996 and 1997. The Webb City, Mo., native was the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons.
Wistrom began his career by being named Big Eight Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 1994. He finished his Nebraska career with 206 total tackles, including 58.5 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks. Wistrom’s tackles for loss total is a school record, while his sacks total ranks second in school history. Wistrom was selected sixth in the 1998 NFL Draft and is in his eighth season in the NFL.
The team was selected by a combined media panel and an on-line fan poll. In order to be considered, candidates mush have been a first-team All-Big 12 selection at least once in their careers. Anniversary teams are being chosen for each conference sport during the 2005-06 season in celebration of the conference’s 10th year of competition. More than 2,300 fans participated in the on-line voting through the Big 12’s web site.