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Rob Ahlschwede lives in Olympia, Washington, now, but he had a flashback Saturday when he stumbled across our column on Wayne Meylan while checking the gameday roster for Nebraska's showdown against Michigan State. A former Husker offensive lineman from Crete, Neb., Ahlschwede thought we "captured Wayno as well as anyone could", but couldn't resist adding a footnote about the two-time consensus All-American that is one of 14 Husker players inducted into College Football's Hall of Fame.
"I was a sophomore and Wayne was in his senior season when we made a trip to Wisconsin and an incident during that game was another great example of what kind of person Wayne was," Alschwede said. "During the game in Madison, a cottontail rabbit showed up on the field. There was a chain link fence around the field and the rabbit could not escape. Play was stopped a couple of times, as I remember, for the rabbit. As play approached the closed end of the horseshoe, Nebraska was on defense, and the rabbit came into play again. Between plays, Wayne apparently decided to help the rabbit. He was even quick enough to catch the rabbit!! And then he carefully took it to a security guard with instructions to take it outside and release it. It was too cool ... probably the best play of the day! And it showed both sides of Wayne ... his quickness and his gentleness. I don't know if there is any film of that in someone's archives, but if there is, it would certainly be enjoyable to watch."
Ahlschwede also found our blog on Freeman White "an enjoyable read", and he was struck reading about a Nebraska record-holder for the two longest passing plays in Husker history having had two knee replacements, one hip replacement and back surgery. Ahlschwede says he "would guess that Freeman had no major injuries of the hip or the knees, but now has "bionics" installed. "Many of the few teammates I've been in contact with have the same problems ... knees, hips, arthritis, shoulders, ankles, etc.," Ahlschwede said. "One of the worst things about college and pro athletics is the health aftermath the athletes suffer," he said, adding: "Love Nebraska being in the Big Ten now and glad to be done with Texas."
Ron Scribner of Colorado Springs, Colorado, wrote to tell us he once heard someone say that Freeman White was such a fabulous athlete that he saw him "kick the net on a basketball hoop at the old Colisuem." He also remembers his old Columbus (Neb.) High School coach, Del Miller, bringing photos from the Omaha World-Herald "showing the elevation of the cross-body blocks that Tony Jeter and Freeman White would throw. They were both great athletes, and both made first-team All-American on the same team." And, finally, Jim Slattery of Elk Point, South Dakota, who attended his first Husker game in 1962, knows we've probably heard this one before, but he remembers a story about Devaney looking for a kid on a recruiting trip to Michigan. "He got lost and drove by Meylan's place, and Wayne was guiding a plow behind a team of horses," Slattery related. "Devaney asked him where this other kid lived, and Wayne held the plow up in his hand and pointed in the direction the kid lived. Devaney said he went no further. He found the kid he wanted to sign."
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