Trivia Question - Husker Football

Discussion in 'Husker Board' started by Catch50, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Catch50

    Catch50 Athletic Director
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    Who was the first freshman (a rs. freshman) to start a game on the o-line under Tom Osborne? This one might surprise some of our posters.
     
  2. rrthusker

    rrthusker Administrator
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    Rob Zatechka
     
  3. PCastro

    PCastro Walk On
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    Will shields ?
     
  4. headcard

    headcard Nebraska Legend
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    Man that’s tough. I think Raiola, Zatechka and Shields all did. But I’m sure there were some before Shields.
     
  5. Catch50

    Catch50 Athletic Director
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    headcard and rrthusker like this.
  6. Larry Hagman's Liver

    Larry Hagman's Liver Defensive Coordinator
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    Nebraska/Lincoln HS football needs to produce more specimens like the Zatechkas. Here's a great clip from Brenden Stai regarding Rob when they were both incoming freshmen...


    Q: Do you recall the first person on the team you befriended?

    BS: Yeah, I have good memories. The first was walking into the training room, the south end zone training room where the varsity would get taped, where the varsity locker room was. I didn’t know anybody except Jerry Weber and Jack Nickolite and Doak Ostergard, as far as trainers go. I didn’t know anybody, and I look over and here’s this guy up on the tables getting his ankles taped, and I hear “Brenden!”

    And I turned around and look at this guy, and he said “How are you doing?” My first, initial thought was, ‘This guy… this guy is gigantic! I can’t believe how big he is!’ And for whatever reason I just blurted out, ‘Hey, are you Mike Petko?’ He says, “No, I’m Rob Zatechka. I’m a freshman like you. I’m playing in the All-Star game here at the stadium.” I was like, ‘What?! Are you kidding me?!’ I’m looking at this guy and he’s 285 lbs. –and I’m 240 lbs. soaking wet. Wet behind the ears coming in -and I look at Rob and he’s got a full-on beard, looks like he’s been in the program 4 to 5 years. So that was really my first memory, was meeting Rob.

    And then, of course, getting a chance to watch those guys play: Cory Schlesinger played in that game, Terry Conneally played in that game, some other guys…Zach Weigert played in that game. So there was a lot -Calvin Jones played in that game- so I got a good idea what to expect as far as becoming friends goes, and that was great. I just couldn’t believe Rob. I remember reading about him in Huskers Illustrated. They did a feature on me and also a feature on Rob. They did a feature about his academic as well as his athletic prowess, as well.

    https://www.huskermax.com/anatomy-of-an-era-brenden-stai-part-1/
     
    6 Larry Hagman's Liver, Jul 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  7. Catch50

    Catch50 Athletic Director
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    I was a student at SUNY - Albany when the Giants trained there. In 96, Rob's second year, I got his autograph. I had a Nebraska hat on. He had the biggest arms I have ever seen.
     
  8. PCastro

    PCastro Walk On
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  9. Larry Hagman's Liver

    Larry Hagman's Liver Defensive Coordinator
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    I had a physics class with Rob when I was a freshman and he was a junior. I was absolutely struck by his sheer size too. Of course, he'd had a couple years in NU's weight room by then, so he was even more imposing than what Stai described.

    One day, the professor brings out a vacuum experiment and calls Rob down to see if he can out-muscle the seal. It was a metal sphere, split in half with handles on each side. Through a valve, he removed the air to form a vacuum.

    Mind you, this was during football season in the Fall and I believe it was on a Friday before a game. As Rob is yanking on the thing with his all his freakish might, another guy sitting near starts worrying out loud about Rob hurting himself and possibly missing the game due to a physics experiment injury.

    Those were the days.
     
    9 Larry Hagman's Liver, Jul 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  10. saluno22

    saluno22 Defensive Coordinator
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    That's a fantastic story, thanks for sharing!
     
  11. Larry Hagman's Liver

    Larry Hagman's Liver Defensive Coordinator
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    Thanks. I also had a German class with Zach Wiegert that same semester. We were 2-3 weeks in the first day he showed up.

    Zach was a smart guy, well spoken, etc., but even after missing so much of the beginning, he still attended class very sporadically. I don't know if the coaches didn't check attendance back then or if his grades were good enough that he stayed off their radar. Obviously, he was going to play no matter what so it became a running joke with the rest of the class.

    One day, our teacher, a very sweet though somewhat naive lady asks innocently in her German accent, "Wo ist Zach?" (Where is Zach?) This was after he'd missed 5-10 additional classes beyond his late arrival.

    My smart-ass self, thinking I was clever, responded, "apparently there isn't a minimum foreign language requirement in the NFL." A few laughed but she had no idea what I was talking about and preceded to just stare at me blankly for the next few seconds.

    To this day, I'm pretty sure Zach learned as much German as I did while attending far, far fewer classes. Turns out, Zach was a genius. :Cool:
     
  12. Baxter48

    Baxter48 All-American
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    A bit of side trivia, I’m pretty sure jake young was the first true freshman to letter under Tom Osborne
     
  13. Catch50

    Catch50 Athletic Director
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    As an offensive lineman?
     
  14. Baxter48

    Baxter48 All-American
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    I’m pretty sure as a offensive lineman
     
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  15. schuele

    schuele Athletic Director
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    Yeah I think the first true freshman to letter under TO, regardless of position, would have been IB Monte Anthony.
     

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