· Drafted in 3rd Round by Pittsburgh Steelers (91st Overall)
· 1994 First-Team All-American (Walter Camp, Football Writers, UPI)
· 1994 Second-Team All American (AP)
· 1994 First-Team All-Big 8 (AP, Coaches)
Combined with Zach Wiegert to give the Huskers one of their best right sides ever. Stai was named first-team All-American by the Football Writers, Walter Camp and UPI, giving Nebraska the fourth pair of offensive lineman from the same school to earn first-team All-American honors (since 1950), and the first since USC’s Don Mosebar and Bruce Matthews did it in 1982. One of the strongest athletes on the team, Stai had 132 “pancakes”, an average of 11.0 per game. He had double-figure pancakes in nine games with a season best of 17 vs. Oklahoma State and 15 twice, against Wyoming and Colorado.
Stai began the year on a tear and was leading the team in “pancakes” averaging 9.1 per game, through the first seven contests. The Huskers averaged 302.85 yards per game through seven games with Stai at right guard, but after he went out with a broken right fibula, the NU average dropped 41 yard per game. Unfortunately for the offensive line, Stai was the reserve center and No. 2 snapper Jon Pedersen both broke fibulas in the Missouri game (Oct. 23). Stai had his cast remove on Nov. 15, was on crutches another week, then in a walking boot until Dec. 6 when X-rays determined he could begin rehabilitation. He came back in time to play (but not start) against Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl. Stai helped the offense finish with a 287.0 rushing average, 38.3 points per game and 425.0 total offense yards, finishing third, fifth and 23rd, respectively, in the nation.
An alternate with T.J. Slansky, Stai backed up Outland winner Will Shields at right guard. Stai played in seven games plus the Federal Express Orange Bowl vs. Florida State and helped the Nebraska ground assault rack up 328.2 yard rushing to finish the season with its third NCAA rushing title in four years, its eighth under Coach Tom Osborne.
Redshirt Freshman (1991)
A reserve guard, Stai lettered after playing in four regular-season games on a line that helped Nebraska win its seventh NCAA rushing title in 12 year at 353.2 yards per game.
A scholarship athlete, Stai redshirted in his first season at Nebraska.
Before Nebraska (Esperanza HS)
An All-Southern CIF offensive tackle selection for Coach Gary Meek, Stai also played defensive tackle and was voted his teams’ most valuable player. Selected to play in the California Shrine Bowl, he was named the Empire League Lineman-of-the-Year. Also lettered in track and wrestling.
The son of Sharon Kelly and Chris Stai, Brenden was born March 30, 1972, in Phoenix, Ariz. He has one brother, Heath Stai. Stai was a criminal justice major while at Nebraska. Stai was a volunteer intern at the state probation office, and was a volunteer speaker for the Ventures in Partnership Program, at Omaha You Rap Sessions and for the Friendship Home Footfest.
Stai's Career Statistics
Games Played - 32
Games Started - 20
1993 “Pancakes” (Knock-down blocks) – 64 (9.1 per game)
1993 “Pancake” Best - 13 vs. Missouri
1994 “Pancakes” – 132 (11.0 per game)
1994 “Pancake” Best – 17 vs. Oklahoma State
Career Pancakes – 196
Career Pancake Best – 17 vs. Oklahoma State