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#57 Chris Kelsay
Position: Left Rush End
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 260
Year: Senior
City/State: Auburn, Neb.
High School: Auburn
  • 2002 National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete ($18,000 Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient)
  • Three-Time First-Team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District VII (200, 2001, 2002)
  • 2002 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star)
  • 2002 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press)
  • 2002 Nebraska Team Captain
  • 2002 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team Member
  • 2001 Second-Team All-American (Football News)
  • 2001 First-Team All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star)
  • 2001 Second-Team All-Big 12 (AP, Coaches, Dallas Morning News, Waco Tribune-Herald)
  • Four-Time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Four-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • Four-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll

Rush end Chris Kelsay (pronounced KELL-see) is the lastest in a long line of outstanding Husker rush ends. Kelsay emerged as a leader of the Blackshirt defense as a junior, and took an even bigger leadership role in 2002 as one of Nebraska's three team captains.

The 6-5, 260-pound Kelsay has been forced to endure a frustrating 2002 campaign in which he missed most of six games with an injury to his right hamstring. Despite missing several weeks, Kelsay led the team in sacks (5.5) and quarterback hurries (18) and ranked second for the Huskers in tackles for loss with 10, totaling 48 yards in losses. Kelsay has compiled his impressive statistics this season while regularly being double-teamed by the opposition.

The respect Kelsay has around the conference was recognized in the postseason when he was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by the Kansas City Star and received honorable-mention accolades from the league?s coaches. Kelsay?s on-the-field accomplishments add to an impressive resume of academic recognition.

Kelsay was one of 14 college football players to receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He and the other recipients were honored at the College Hall of Fame's Awards dinner on Dec. 10 in New York City.

This fall, Kelsay became just the fifth Husker player to earn first-team academic all-conference honors in four seasons. Kelsay also earned first-team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District VII honors for the third consecutive season. Kelsay was an academic standout just like his older brother, Chad, who was a first-team academic All-American as a senior. Like Chris, Chad also wore No. 57 and started at rush end for the Huskers. Both Chris and Chad Kelsay served as captains for the Huskers, one of just five sets of brothers to both be elected as Nebraska team captains.

The younger Kelsay graduated on Dec. 21 with a finance degree. He finished his undergraduate studies with a better than 3.5 cumulative grade-point average.

Kelsay recorded 4.5 sacks in NU's first five games to rank among the Big 12 leaders. However, Kelsay injured his right hamstring in the first quarter against McNeese State and was forced to the sideline for the subsequent five games. Before the injury Kelsay had started 27 consecutive games at rush end. Kelsay returned to action against 11th-ranked Kansas State and recorded a career-high 11 tackles and a sack.

The injury this season hurt Kelsay's chances of contending for All-America honors on and off the field. A year ago, Kelsay earned second-team All-America and All-Big 12 honors during his junior season, helping the Huskers to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl.

2002: Arizona State-Kelsay opened the season with two tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks for 17 yards in losses against the Sun Devils. He also had a team-high four quarterback hurries as ASU completed just 17-of-41 passes.
Troy State-Kelsay recorded a pair of tackles, including a tackle for loss and hurried Trojan quarterback Hansell Bearden twice. Kelsay also had a pass breakup in the contest.
Utah State-Kelsay had the second two-sack game of his career, wrapping up Aggie quarterback Jose Fuentes twice behind the line for losses of 13 yards. Kelsay also had a pass breakup. The NU defense allowed Utah State to complete just 19-of-44 passes.
Penn State-Kelsay had three tackles and Nebraska's only sack along with four quarterback hurries.
Iowa State-Kelsay had seven tackles, including three tackles for loss. He added two hurries of Cyclone QB Seneca Wallace.
McNeese State-Kelsay left early in the game with a hamstring injury and had one assisted tackle.
Missouri-Did not play because of a pulled hamstring.
Oklahoma State-Did not play because of a pulled hamstring.
Texas A&M-Did not play because of a pulled hamstring.
Texas-Did not play because of a pulled hamstring.
Kansas-Did not play because of a pulled hamstring.
Kansas State-Kelsay returned to action after missing five games. He made his presence known against the Wildcats with a career-high 11 tackles, including a sack. He added a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup in the loss.
Colorado-Kelsay recorded four tackles in his final game at Memorial Stadium. He added three quarterback hurries in Nebraska?s 28-13 loss.

2001: Kelsay captured second-team All-America honors from the Football News, while earning academic All-America District VII honors in the classroom. He also claimed first-team All-Big 12 accolades from the Kansas City Star, after starting all 12 games for the Huskers as a junior. He ranked sixth on the team in total tackles with 52 and first in tackles for loss with 17 for 58 yards lost. Kelsay was second on the team in sacks with five for a loss of 24 yards and tied Adams for the team lead in quarterback hurries with 12. Kelsay opened the season with two tackles for loss and caused a fumble against TCU. Against Troy State, Kelsay recorded his first sack of the season and had two tackles for loss among his four total tackles. He had three tackles against No. 17 Notre Dame, including one tackle for a one-yard loss. Kelsay stepped up his game beginning with NU's win over Iowa State, recording 12 tackles for loss in the next five games. He had three tackles for loss and a sack against the Cyclones, then added a tackle for loss at Baylor. Against the pass-happy Texas Tech offense, Kelsay had a sack for eight yards, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Nebraska's showdown with Oklahoma brought out the best in Kelsay as he recorded a career-high eight tackles, a tackle for loss and a career-high four quarterback hurries. A week later at Kansas, Kelsay matched his career-best with eight tackles, including seven solo and had a career-high five tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Kelsay finished the season with five tackles against Kansas State and six at Colorado, and had four tackles, including two for loss against Miami in the 2002 Rose Bowl.

2000: Playing in all 11 games and starting the last seven at left rush end, Kelsay finished ninth on the team in tackles with 29 stops (nine solo). He also had two tackles for five yards lost, one half of a sack, three pass breakups, nine quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. Kelsay had a career-best five stops in the season finale vs. Colorado. He split a sack with Randy Stella vs. Iowa and his other tackle for loss was against Iowa State. His three breakups were against Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor. He had two hurries vs. San Jose State and Colorado. Kelsay had three tackles in the Alamo Bowl vs. Northwestern, two were for losses, including a nine-yard sack. He also had one quarterback hurry.

1999: Kelsay played in 11 games, rotating with Aaron Wills at left rush end. He played both sides and started against Oklahoma State at right rush end when starter Kyle Vanden Bosch missed the game with a sprained ankle. Playing in every game except A&M (groin pull), Kelsay totaled 16 tackles (eight solo stops) and shared a seven-yard sack with Loran Kaiser against OSU. He had a season-best four tackles vs. Missouri, when he had two solo stops and a quarterback hurry. He had a career-best three quarterback hurries at Iowa in the season opener when he also had his lone breakup of the season. Kelsay saw action in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Tennessee and had one assisted tackle, which went for a one-yard loss.

1998: A scholarship athlete, Kelsay redshirted his first year.

At Auburn HS: Kelsay earned first-team All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World-Herald and first-team super-state honors from the Lincoln Journal Star as a defensive lineman in 1997. He was a SuperPrep All-American and earned honorable-mention honors from USA Today. Kelsay also earned All-America honors from Bigger, Faster, Stronger, a weight-lifting magazine. In 1997, Kelsay led Auburn to a 10-2 record and the state Class C-1 semifinals. He recorded 142 tackles (69 solo), 14 sacks, caused three fumbles and had two fumble recoveries playing outside linebacker, rush end and the majority of his time at tackle. He was also an all-state linebacker in 1996 leading Auburn to the state semifinals (beaten by champion both years) and played tight end on offense. Kelsay turned down a scholarship to Michigan. A two-time All-Class C-1 basketball selection, Kelsay averaged 16 points and 8.4 rebounds a game in helping Auburn to a 17-3 record in 1997-98. In track, he finished fifth in the Class B shot put and had a personal-best throw of 56-11 1/2.

Personal: Kelsay was one of four signees in the 1997 and 1998 recruiting classes who followed their brothers to NU (also Dion Booker, brother Michael graduated in 1996; Mark Vedral, brother Jon--1996 and Mike 1992; and Tracey Wistrom, brother Grant--1997 Lombardi winner). The son of Steve and Jackie Kelsay, Chris also has a younger sister, Bristol. Jackie is athletic director and principal at Johnson-Brock High School. Chris was born on Oct. 31, 1979, and has a 3.589 cumulative grade-point average in finance. He is active in the community having participated in the NU Shadowing program, American Education Week, the N4A Transition Program at Lincoln High, at the Auburn Tour of Excellence and as a volunteer hospital visitor. Kelsay served as a Husker Ambassador in 2000 and is a three-year member of the 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.

1999

11/1

8

8

16

1-3

0.5-3

0-0

0

1

0

4

0

2000

11/7

9

20

29

2-5

0.5-4

1-0

0

3

0

9

0

2001

12/12

27

25

52

17-58

5-24

1-0

0

1

0

12

0

Totals

8/8

14

18

32

10-48

5.5-40

0-0

0

3

0

18

0

Totals

42/28

58

71

129

30-114

11.5-71

2-0

0

9

0

43

0

2000 Fiesta Bowl vs. Tennessee: Tackles, 0 UT, 1 AT, 1 TT; TFL 1-1
2000 Alamo Bowl vs. Northwestern: Tackles, 2 UT, 1 AT, 3 TT; TFL 2-10; Sacks 1- 9; QBH 1
2002 Rose Bowl vs. Miami: Tackles, 2 UT, 2 AT, 4 TT; TFL 2-4

Tackles - 11 at Kansas State, 2002
Solo Tackles - 7 vs. Kansas, 2001
TFL -  5-21 vs. Kansas, 2001
Sacks -
2-5 vs. Kansas, 2001; 2-13 vs. Utah State, 2002
Quarterback Hurries - 4, three times, most recently at Penn State, 2002
Passes Broken Up - 1, nine times, most recently at Kansas State, 2002

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