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#37 Lawrence Ely
Position: Center
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 197
City/State: Grand Island, Neb.

Honors & Awards

  • Nebraska's First All-American Center (1932)
  • All-Big Six (1931, 1932)
  • Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductee (1974)

One of the earliest stars of Nebraska football in the 1930s, Lawrence Ely captured first-team All-America honors as a center for the Cornhuskers in 1932.

Ely was the first Husker center to claim All-America honors, and he set the standard for excellence for the position that has been followed by one of the greatest traditions in all of college football.

Ely was followed by Charles Brock (1937), Tom Novak (1949), Rik Bonness (1974-75), Tom Davis (1977), Dave Rimington (1981-82), Mark Traynowicz (1984), Bill Lewis (1985), Jake Young (1988-89), Aaron Graham (1995), Aaron Taylor (1996) and Dominic Raiola (2000) giving Nebraska 11 centers who have produced 14 All-America awards in history.

Ely led the Husker line under Hall of Fame Coach Dana X. Bible. As a senior in 1932, Ely helped Nebraska to a 7-1-1 record that included a Big Six Conference title with a perfect 5-0 record.

A Grand Island, Neb., native, Ely also lettered for the Huskers in 1930 and 1931. As a junior, Ely helped NU to an 8-2 overall mark and a Big Six title with a perfect 5-0 record. As a sophomore in Bible's second season at NU, Ely helped the Huskers to a 4-3-2 mark.

Ely earned first-team All-Big Six honors in both 1931 and 1932, while playing alongside fellow All-Americans Hugh Rhea (tackle) and George Sauer (fullback) for some dominant Husker teams.

Although he likely served as a team captain for Nebraska during his career, he was not officially appointed a captain because Nebraska did not feature permanent captains from 1930 to 1949.

Following his NU career, Ely played in the East-West Shrine game in San Franciso. He did not play profession football. Ely was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

 

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