In 1992, Tommie Frazier, as a freshman at NU, became the starting quarterback for what would become the most dominate college football team of the 1990's.
Around the same time he became the starter, I was entering into middle school. In 7th grade, I only played defense. I enjoyed covering receivers and having the chance to put my helmet into someone's chest.
As I entered into 8th grade, I was hoping that my coaches would give me a shot at receiver. I still wanted to play defense, but I wanted the chance to catch a few passes. I was pretty fast, quick, and had decent hands. However, my coaches refused to give me the shot at receiver. Instead, Coach Hicks told me that I was going to play QB. I had no say in it.
We were a running team who specialized in the option. After a few practices, I fell in love with it. For the next 5 years of my life I would go to sleep with a football in my arms. I was throwing routes and working out 12 months a year. There was something intriguing to me about being the field general; the one who has the ball in his hands on every single play.
Every Saturday and Sunday, I would watch College and NFL games...zoning in on the quarterback. I quickly realized that NFL qb's weren't the running type. If they did run, they would do the feet-first slide at the end of the play to avoid getting hit. But the college game was different, especially with Tommie Frazier. Option qb's refuse to slide. It is against their DNA. They aren't afraid of contact or to put their head down to take on the linebacker or strong safety.
I continued as the starting qb and cornerback as a freshman in high school. I played at a larger school in Mesquite (east of Dallas), so we played against some pretty stiff competition. As most of you know, high school football in Texas is the real deal.
One week before 2-a-days started my sophomore year, my coach called my house to request a meeting with me. He called me in to tell me that they were moving me up to varsity, and my number would be #15 because he knew that Frazier was my hero.
My high school, Mesquite Poteet, had a football program that mimicked everything that the Nebraska Cornhuskers would do. My offensive coaches would fly up to Lincoln in the spring to talk option football with Tom Osborne (one of the greatest coaches in College football history) and his assistants. They would discuss new schemes. Our coaches would come home with new plays, and believe it or not, the Huskers started to run a few of our plays after watching some of our film. My coaches would come back with new drills, plays, and hours of video. They would also bring me back t-shirts, shorts, and Husker paraphernalia from the Husker Bookstore.
As a junior, we had a tight-end who was one of the most sought after TE's in the entire country. I walked into the field house one day on a meeting he was having with Turner Gill, the qb coach for the Huskers. They invited me to come and sit with them for a few minutes. I think I had to throw those pants away because I am sure that I went all over myself.
Since I've been a fan, I've seen them play close to 8 times. There is nothing like it.
Even though they abandoned the option about 5 years ago, and even though they have had a rough time adjusting to the 21st century, my loyalties are firmly established.
I am a Husker for life.
GO BIG RED!!!