Long-time NFL standouts Mike Rucker, Kyle Larson and Danny Woodhead headline a list of six players, including four Huskers, who will be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
This year’s Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class will celebrate together with an induction dinner on the University of Nebraska campus on Friday, Sept. 14. The class will be introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with Troy at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Rucker, a major contributor on Nebraska’s 1995 and 1997 national championship teams, went on to an All-Pro selection in his nine-year career as a starter at defensive end with the Carolina Panthers. Rucker recorded 17 sacks and 40 tackles for loss during his career as a Blackshirt, before notching 55.5 sacks among his 421 career tackles in the NFL.
Larson, one of the top punters in Nebraska football history, claimed first-team All-America honors for the Big Red as a senior in 2003. A three-time All-Big 12 selection, Larson was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award in 2003. Larson, whose 195 punts are a Nebraska record, went on to a five-year career as an NFL starter with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Joining Rucker and Larson in the group of four Husker Hall of Famers, are offensive linemen Dan Schmidt and Bob Sledge. Schmidt was an honorable-mention All-American and an All-Big Eight pick at left guard for the Huskers as a senior in 1975. Sledge was a first-team All-Big Eight choice as an offensive tackle for the Huskers in 1988, when he helped Nebraska to an NCAA rushing title and a conference title.
Chadron State greats Danny Woodhead and Sargent native Casey Beran add an impressive state college presence to the 2018 induction class. Woodhead was a two-time winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy (2006, 2007) as the nation’s top player in NCAA Division II and a two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American during his career at Chadron State. He went on to a nine-year NFL career as a running back with the Jets, Patriots, Chargers and Ravens. He received an automatic selection into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2008, but will be formally inducted this fall.
Beran was the first Chadron State Eagle in history to earn both All-America and CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in the same season. He also joins Woodhead as one of just three Eagles in history to be named the Omaha World-Herald’s Nebraska State College Athlete of the Year. Beran won that award in 2000, following his dual All-America season in 1999.
The Hall also will recognize Bill and Ruth Scott of Omaha with its Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award, while Jim and Mary Abel of Lincoln will be honored with the Lyell Bremser Special Merit Awards.
Nebraska Football Hall of Fame 2018 Inductee Biography
Casey Beran (Chadron State, 1996-97-98-99) – Casey Beran left his mark as one of the greatest players in Chadron State history when he completed his career as a consensus NCAA Division II All-American and a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American for the Eagles in 1999. The first football player in Chadron State history to earn All-America honors both on and off the field, Beran was one of only three Eagles in history to be named the Omaha World-Herald’s Nebraska State College Athlete of the Year. He won that award in 2000 following his All-America season as a senior in 1999. A native of Sargent, Neb., Beran was a first-team All-American by the Football Gazette and USA Football in 1999, and a second-team choice by Daktronics and the Associated Press that same season. He was a three-time first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection and was named the RMAC Outstanding Defensive Player in 1999. Beran recorded 182 tackles, including a Chadron State-record 35 sacks in his career, despite missing most of his sophomore season in 1997 with an ACL tear. He also caused seven fumbles in his career and recorded 38 quarterback hurries. In addition to his prowess on defense, Beran scored 11 touchdowns as a fullback in goal-line situations for the Eagles, including seven as a junior and four as a senior. He was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2013, and in 2014 was named one of the top 12 defensive players in RMAC history during its Centennial Celebration. Beran earned his bachelor’s degree from Chadron State as a human biology major in May of 1999. He graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2004 and is an orthopedic surgeon with CHI Health at Creighton University. His wife, Molly, is an obstetrician.