Honors & Awards
A two-time first-team All-Big Eight quarterback for the Huskers, Claridge served as NU's team captain as a senior in 1963, when he went on to win Nebraska's Novak Trophy, which "exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-American center Tom Novak."
In addition to his duties as NU's quarterback, the 6-3, 210-pounder from Robbinsdale, Minn., was also one of the nation's best punters in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He earned three letters for the Huskers in those same seasons.
Also a standout in the classroom, Claridge earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1963, and was a first-team academic All-Big Eight selection that same season.
Following his distinguished career at Nebraska, Claridge spent three seasons in the NFL, including the 1964 and 1965 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and the 1966 season with the Atlanta Falcons. He was the No. 3 draft choice of the Green Bay Packers in the 1963 NFL Draft following his junior season.
In 1976, Claridge was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Claridge completed 31-of-66 passes for 440 yards and one touchdown as a senior, while throwing three interceptions. He finished the season as NU's total-offense leader with 619 yards, including 179 rushing yards on 69 attempts with six touchdowns. In the Orange Bowl, he helped the Huskers bolt to a 13-0 halftime lead against the Tigers with his 68-yard touchdown run just 1:13 into the game. At the time, it was the longest touchdown run in Orange Bowl history. He finished the day with 108 yards rushing, while going 4-for-9 through the air for 30 yards.
On special teams, Claridge punted 32 times for 1,062 yards for a 33.2-yard per punt average.
In the Gotham Bowl win over Miami, Claridge complete 9-of-14 passes for 146 yards, including a six-yard scoring strike to Mike Eger to tie the game at 20 with 42 seconds left in the first half. He added a two-point conversion run following a Bill "Thunder" Thornton touchdown with eight seconds left in the third quarter to give NU a 28-27 lead. Claridge added a final scoring drive that included a two-point conversion run by Thornton early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
For the season, he scored 64 points which was a school record at the time.
On special teams during the season, Claridge punted 27 times for 995 yards for a 36.9-yard per punt average.
As a punter, Claridge ranked 15th nationally in punting average at 39.2-yards per punt. He booted 50 punts for 1,958 yards on the season.
The Huskers finished with a 3-6-1 record in Coach Bill Jennings' final season in Lincoln.