Huskers Lead Nation with 15 NCAA Top Eight Award Winners
The highest honor the National Collegiate Athletic Association can bestow on a student-athlete is The Top Eight Award. The award is based not only on outstanding athletic accomplishments, but on excellent academic records and leadership ability in community and campus activities.
The University of Nebraska earned its NCAA-leading 15th Top Eight Award in January of 2008, when four-time AVCA first-team All-American Sarah Pavan captured the fourth award in the history of the NU volleyball program. Pavan, who was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year across all women's sports, was honored at the NCAA honors dinner. One of the most decorated female student-athletes in Husker history, Pavan was also NU's first-ever winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup in 2006-07, after leading the Husker volleyball team to its third NCAA title in 2006.
The Husker football program has nine of Nebraska's 15 Top Eight Award winners, most recently All-America rush end Grant Wistrom who was a 1998 honoree. Wistrom's selection gave Nebraska nine Top Eight honorees in the 1990s. Two Huskers received the award in both 1990 and 1991, the only times that a school had more than one student-athlete honored. Nine of Nebraska’s Top Eight picks were football players, making the Husker grid program the most decorated in the country.
Nebraska's NCAA-Leading 15 NCAA Today's Top Eight Award Winners
2008 - Sarah Pavan (volleyball)
2005 - Richelle Simpson (women's gymnastics)
2002 - Nancy Metcalf (volleyball)
1998 - Grant Wistrom (football)
1996 - Aaron Graham (football)
1994 - Trev Alberts (football)
1992 - Janet Kruse (volleyball)
1991 - Patrick Kirksey (men's gymnastics)
1991 - Pat Tyrance (football)
1990 - Virginia Stahr (volleyball)
1990 - Jake Young (football)
1989 - Tom Schlesinger (men's gymnastics)
1985 - Mark Traynowicz (football)
1983 - Dave Rimington (football)
1981 - Randy Schleusener (football)