NEW YORK (AP) — Tommie Frazier waited a couple of years longer than many Nebraska fans felt was appropriate to get into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Being snubbed didn't bother Touchdown Tommie, he says. He's just glad the call finally came and that so many appreciated his play.
Frazier is one of 12 former players who were inducted by the National Football Foundation into the College Hall of Fame on Tuesday night in New York.
Also among the inductees were Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde, Danny Wuerffel and Ron Dayne along with former coaches Wayne Hardin of Temple and Navy and Bill McCartney of Colorado.
Frazier guided the Huskers to back-to-back national championships in 1994 and '95, and played briefly in the CFL before recurring blood clots led him to retire. He was selected for the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility.
For Husker fans, and anyone else who watched Frazier run Nebraska's prolific option offense, that was way too long.
“I think the fans were speaking for me,” Frazier said Tuesday at the Waldorf Astoria hotel before the latest class of Hall of Famers was inducted during an awards banquet.
“I'm not the type of person that's going to promote himself or say I deserve this or deserve that. I'm truly blessed that it happened when it happened.”
The rest of the Hall of Fame class included Ted Brown of North Carolina State; Tedy Bruschi of Arizona; Jerry Gray of Texas; Steve Meilinger of Kentucky; the late Rod Shoate of Oklahoma; Don Trull of Baylor; Percy Snow of Michigan State; and Orlando Pace of Ohio State.
Snow and Pace were sitting only a few feet from each other on the dais, separated by Shoate's sister, Charlotte Gordon.
Snow, the former Spartans linebacker, couldn't help but do some playful gloating about Michigan State's recent Big Ten championship game victory against Ohio State.
“Big Ten champs. 2013 Big Ten champs,” Snow said, glancing at Pace, who shook his head and laughed. “I don't get to rub it in Ohio State's face too much.”
Michigan State earned its first Rose Bowl trip since 1987 by spoiling the Buckeyes' unbeaten season.
Frazier played before college football reached its current spread-football stage, when dual-threat quarterbacks are so common and put up gaudy statistics. He ran for 1,955 yards and 5.7 per carry with 36 touchdowns in four seasons at Nebraska and passed for 3,521 yards and 43 scores. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel put up numbers not far off those in a season.
But Frazier was as exciting to watch in his day as Johnny Football is now.
“If you look at my stats and my numbers, they weren't the greatest,” Frazier said, “but people appreciated the way I played the game and how I went out there and led my team to championships and didn't do anything to embarrass the sport.”
Nebraska went 33-3 with Frazier starting, and those teams coached by Tom Osborne are considered some of the best in college football during the past 50 years.
“I think we were right up there at the top,” Frazier said. “We weren't very flashy. We said we were going to run the ball 50, 60 times a game and we were going to run over you.”
Frazier has not been shy about voicing his displeasure with Nebraska's inability to recapture its past glory under current coach Bo Pelini.
Frazier is a frequent poster on Twitter — @TouchdownTommie — and went so far as to call for Pelini to make staff changes after a loss to UCLA.
Pelini said then if Frazier didn't like how he was running the program, NU didn't need his support. After some speculation about Pelini's future, the coach will be back with the Huskers next season. Nebraska finished 8-4 and will play Georgia in the Gator Bowl.
“I'm supportive of what the administration decided,” Frazier said. “I'm a true Nebraska fan. I just want to see them perform well in all phases of the game, whether it's on the field or off the field. Coach Pelini got another year, and now is our time to rally behind that and be happy with it.
“Not everything is going to be good, not everything is going to be bad. We just have to trust the administration and the leaders of the university and of the athletic department to make the right decision.”
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