Lincoln -- Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez in on the initial Maxwell Award Watch List released Monday afternoon.
Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history. On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.
Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game.
Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a season-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.
Martinez is one of 11 Big Ten players on the Maxwell Award Watch List. He will look to become Nebraska’s second Maxwell Award winner, joining 1983 winner Mike Rozier.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 29, 2019, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 25, 2019. The winners of the 2019 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 12, 2019
The United States women's volleyball national team won the Pan American Cup title on Sunday with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 29-27) sweep of Dominican Republic in Trujillo, Peru.
Former Huskers Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes were on the U.S. team and played big roles for the Americans throughout the tournament. Rolfzen was named the Pan Am Cup's best attacker, posting double-digit kills in three of the five matches she played in. Wong-Orantes was voted the best libero. She had a match-high 19 digs in the title match.
Former Huskers have had an impressive run of international success over the past couple weeks. Last weekend, Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Larson and Mikaela Foecke were crowned champions with the U.S. National Team at the Volleyball Nations League in China. Also last weekend, former Husker Sarah Pavan clinched a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning Canada's first-ever gold medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
The Nebraska women's basketball team will complete its non-conference home schedule by taking on Manhattan at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The Huskers' first-ever meeting with Manhattan will cap Nebraska's 11-game regular-season non-conference schedule, which will include eight home games. The battle with the Jaspers will be part of a two-year home-and-home series, as the Huskers will travel to Manhattan in 2020-21. Next year's meeting in Manhattan will be a homecoming for Husker center Kate Cain, who is from Middletown, N.Y., and played at Pine Bush High School. Cain's father, Tim, graduated as Manhattan's all-time leading scorer with 1,872 points and was a two-time honorable-mention All-American by The Sporting News after averaging 17.3 points per game during his career. Tim Cain, who is the only player in Jasper history to be a four-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference choice, was also recently selected for induction into the MAAC Honor Roll. He will be recognized at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 14.
A two-year starter for the Huskers entering her junior season, Kate Cain is on track to shatter Nebraska's career blocked shot record. The 6-5 center set the school season record with 100 blocks as a true freshman in 2017-18, before adding a sophomore school record with 79 in 2018-19. Her 179 blocks in two seasons rank as the No. 4 career total in school history, and Cain needs just 60 blocks to set Nebraska's all-time record, which is currently held by Janet Smith (238, 1979-82).
Cain, who was a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams in 2017-18 while helping the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament, has averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 54.8 percent from the field over her first two seasons at Nebraska.
Manhattan closed 2018-19 with a 12-19 record that included a 9-9 MAAC mark. Coach Heather Vulin enters her fourth season at the helm for Manhattan with an experienced team after guiding a young Jasper squad that featured five sophomores and three freshmen in the regular rotation throughout last season. This 2019-20 Jaspers will feature five seniors and five more juniors, including the return of 2019 Preseason All-MAAC guard Gabby Cajou, who missed all but seven games last season after suffering a season-ending injury. Cajou was the 2018 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year. Overall, Manhattan returns seven players who each started at least 10 games a year ago.
Before the Huskers face Manhattan in Lincoln, they will take on Oral Roberts at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Dec. 14. Coach Misti Cussen and the Golden Eagles went 18-13 last season, including a 10-6 Summit League mark. ORU returns three starters and a pair of double-figure scorers from last year's team, led by juniors Maya Mayberry (14.1 ppg) and Keni Jo Lippe (13.3 ppg).
The games with Oral Roberts and Manhattan will be Nebraska's final tune-ups before the start of Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers' 18-game conference schedule will include home games with Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin and Illinois, to complete a 17-game regular-season home schedule for the Big Red.
The Nebraska women's basketball team is making its final preparations for its upcoming European Tour to Italy and Spain, Aug. 1-11.
The Huskers, who have been training and practicing for the past several weeks in anticipation of the summer tour, will depart for Rome on Aug. 1, and will tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica before competing in their first game of the tour on Aug. 3.
On Sunday, Aug. 4, the Huskers expect to have the opportunity to see the Pope in St. Peter's Square before touring the legendary Colosseum.
The team travels to Florence for its second competition of the tour on Aug. 5, before spending the next two days exploring the capital of Italy's Tuscany region.
Nebraska's tour of Europe shifts gears on Thursday, Aug. 8, when the Huskers fly to Barcelona. The Huskers will see the sites of the historic Spanish city before playing their final game of the tour on Friday, Aug. 9.
A mid-day Mediterranean cruise on Saturday, Aug. 10, will highlight Nebraska's final day in Europe, before the Huskers return to the United States on Sunday, Aug. 11.
Social media coverage throughout the tour will be available on the Nebraska women's basketball (@HuskersWBB) Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Nebraska Women's Basketball European Tour Itinerary(Italy & Spain, Aug. 1-11)
Thursday, August 1
Depart for Rome
Friday, August 2
Saturday, August 3
Tour Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica
Game #1 (Rome)
Sunday, August 4
St. Peter's Square
Tour the Colosseum
Monday, August 5
Depart for Florence (mid-day stop in Siena)
Game #2 (Florence)
Tuesday, August 6
Wednesday, August 7
Cooking Classes in Florence
Thursday, August 8
Depart for Barcelona
Friday, August 9
Tour Sagrada Familia
Game #3 (Barcelona)
Saturday, August 10
Sailing Cruise on Mediterranean Sea
Sunday, August 11
Return to United States
Lincoln - The Nebraska women’s basketball team will host a special tip-off to the 2019-20 season when the Huskers welcome 3rd through 8th grade students from around the state to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
The Sportsmanship Pep Rally will take place prior to Nebraska’s season-opening game against Alabama A&M, which is scheduled for a noon tip-off at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Bulldogs are coached by former Husker Margaret Richards.
Nebraska Senior Associate Athletic Director for Life Skills Keith Zimmer and his staff will be coordinating a pep rally, which will give students a chance to hear inspirational life skills and academic messages from Husker student-athletes and staff, before helping to tip off the 2019-20 basketball season.
The Nebraska High School Hall of Fame is partnering with the Huskers to reach out to elementary and middle grades students around the state to make the day’s activities possible.
It will be the second time that Pinnacle Bank Arena has served as a host site for the Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally. The first came on opening day for the arena on Nov. 8, 2013, when more than 4,000 youth from around Nebraska celebrated with the Huskers.
For more information, or to register your school to attend the Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally, please email Assistant Director of Life Skills Kate Frazier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nebraska women’s basketball team will spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas while competing in the 2019 South Point Shootout, Nov. 29-30.
The Huskers’ second trip to the South Point Shootout under Coach Amy Williams will include a marquee match-up against USC on Friday, Nov. 29, at 7:45 p.m. (CT). Nebraska will wrap up its two-game visit to Las Vegas by battling Sacred Heart on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Nebraska made its first trip to the South Point Shootout in November of 2016, facing Washington State (Nov. 25) and Virginia (Nov. 26).
A total of 10 teams will take part in the 2019 version of the South Point Shootout, including Big Ten rival Ohio State and South Dakota, who will face off against each other right before Nebraska and USC on Friday afternoon. Alabama and Northern Iowa will clash immediately following the Big Red’s battle with the Women of Troy on Friday, while Tennessee Tech, Northern Illinois and Detroit Mercy round out the field.
USC will represent the powerful Pac-12 Conference at the South Point Shootout. The Trojans finished with a 17-13 overall record in 2018-19 that included a 7-11 Pac-12 mark under Coach Mark Trakh and his staff, which includes former Husker Ashley Ford as the Director of Basketball Operations. The Trojans, who finished at No. 53 in the official NCAA RPI in 2018-19, return just one regular starter – Kayla Overbeck – from their 2018-19 roster.
Sacred Heart should also pose a formidable test for Nebraska. Coach Jessica Mannetti led the Pioneers to a 19-13 record last season, including a 14-4 mark in Northeast Conference play. The Pioneers, who are also known as the Big Red, advanced to the first round of the 2019 WNIT. Sacred Heart will be led by junior guard Adrianne Hagood, who averaged 11.2 points per game as a starter last season. Senior Allyson Murphy and junior Olivia Dabney also return with significant starting experience for the Pioneers.
South Point Hotel and Casino is a spacious resort that offers fans a wide range of family-friendly entertainment from movies to bowling. Fan room rates will be available at a later date. For more information on the South Point Shootout, visit SportTours.net and @SportTours on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
One of the most accurate kickers in college football history, Alex Henery, and three-time national champion linebacker Jay Foreman headline a class of five players, including four Huskers, and one state college coach to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in September.
Henery, a four-year starter for Nebraska from 2007 to 2010, hit on an NCAA-record 88.9 percent (68-76) of his field goal attempts during his career. He also scored a Nebraska-record 397 points by adding 193-of-194 career PATs. Henery, whose 68 career field goals were also a school record, earned first-team All-America honors for the Big Red as a senior in 2010. The Omaha Burke High School graduate went on to a four-year career in the NFL.
Foreman, who was a Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior at Nebraska in 1998, was a major contributor on Nebraska’s 1997 national championship team. He also helped the Huskers claim the 1995 title as a freshman after redshirting in his first season in Lincoln in 1994. Foreman finished his Nebraska career with 233 tackles, before going on to eight highly productive seasons in the NFL. He starred on defense with the Bills, Texans, Giants and 49ers, finishing his pro career with 527 tackles and five fumble recoveries.
A pair of All-Big Eight offensive linemen from the 1970s and 1980s join Foreman and Henery with a call to the hall. Mark Behning, a three-year contributor at offensive tackle on some of the most prolific offenses in Nebraska history in 1982, 1983 and 1984, earned Hall of Fame induction with his All-Big Eight honors as a senior in 1984. Behning went on to spend three seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Greg Jorgensen, a starting offensive guard for Coach Tom Osborne’s early Nebraska teams in 1975, 1976 and 1977, was a second-team All-American in 1977 and a two-time All-Big Eight choice.
The four former Huskers will be joined in their inductions into the Hall of Fame by University of Nebraska at Kearney wide receiver Richie Ross.
Ross, a two-time All-American, rewrote the UNK record books with 279 receptions for 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Lopers from 2002 to 2005. The four-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection’s record-setting efforts throughout his UNK career included a 317-yard receiving game against Fort Hays State as a sophomore in 2003, when he was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Lincoln High graduate also earned a spot in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
Former Chadron State coach and athletic director Brad Smith will become the 36th coach and the first since 2012 to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. He spent 18 seasons (1987-2004) as Chadron State’s head coach and was a three-time RMAC Coach of the Year (1996, 1999, 2001). Smith led Chadron State to a 10-0 regular season and a final No. 7 AFCA national ranking in 2001. His 2002 and 2003 teams also finished in the AFCA Top 25, while his 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 teams all advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. His 1989 and 1990 teams advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs and finished in the top 10.
The Hall also will recognize Tom and Patty Hastings of Omaha with its Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award, while long-time Nebraska Athletic Department administrators Butch Hug and Shot Kleen will be honored with Lyell Bremser Special Merit Awards.
The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame opened its headquarters in Atlanta in 2014.
Prior to 2015, players must have been either an All-American or first-team all-conference selection to make the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame ballot. Beginning in 2015, Huskers who earned second-team all-conference honors dating back to the expansion of the Big Eight to the Big 12 (1996) and now the 14-team Big Ten, are eligible. Players are not eligible for the ballot until after a 10-year waiting period from the end of their collegiate careers. Major national award winners earn automatic induction. Active NFL players are not on the ballot.
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. 13. The class will be introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14.
2019 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductees
Greg Jorgensen (1975-76-77) - A three-year starter at offensive guard, Greg Jorgensen was a second-team All-American by the Football News as a senior and was a two-time honorable-mention All-American and a two-time All-Big Eight selection in his final two seasons for the Huskers in 1976 and 1977. With Jorgensen helping pave the way for Nebraska’s offense, the Huskers ranked No. 5 nationally in scoring offense at 32.4 points per game in 1976, while ranking 10th in total offense at 407.8 yards per game. The Huskers ranked seventh nationally in rushing offense (302.5 ypg) during his senior season, while ranking 13th nationally in total offense (415.4 ypg). Jorgensen helped the Huskers to 28 total wins and a trio of final top-10 national rankings in his three seasons as a starter. He helped the Huskers to an Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl win over Texas Tech in 1976 and a Liberty Bowl win over North Carolina in 1977. The Minden, Nebraska native was a 10th-round pick of the New York Giants in the 1978 NFL Draft. An agricultural major at Nebraska, Jorgensen is a farmer in Minden. He and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Emily and Scot, and six grandchildren.
Mark Behning (1982-83-84) - An All-Big Eight offensive tackle on dominant Nebraska teams in the early 1980s, Mark Behning helped pave the way for some of the most prolific Husker rushing attacks in history. As a junior, Behning helped an offense, powered by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mike Rozier, lead the nation with 401.7 rushing yards per game. The Huskers also led the nation in scoring offense with 52.0 points while racking up 546.7 total yards per game, the second-best total in the country. Behning earned his first letter as a sophomore tackle for the Huskers in 1982, when Nebraska led the nation in rushing offense (394.3 ypg), total offense (518.6 ypg) and scoring offense (41.1 ppg). He earned All-Big Eight honors on and off the field as a senior in 1984, while helping the Huskers rank third with 311.1 rushing yards and 12th nationally with 427.5 total yards per game. Nebraska’s 32.6 points per game ranked sixth in the country. He started every game as a senior despite battling an ankle injury and competed in the 1985 Senior Bowl. In his three years as a letterman on the O-line, Nebraska finished No. 3 (1982), No. 2 (1983) and No. 4 (1984) in the final Associated Press rankings. He helped the Huskers to New Year’s Day bowl wins over LSU in the Orange and Sugar bowls and was a starter in the 1983 national championship game against Miami in the Orange Bowl. The 6-6, 290-pounder out of Denton, Texas, went on to be a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1985 NFL Draft. He spent the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons with the Steelers in the NFL. Behning, who returned to Nebraska to complete his engineering degree following his NFL career, spent 11 years as a teacher and coach at Denton High School. He is currently a senior project manager with Golden Sands General Contractors in Dallas. He and his wife have two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.
Jay Foreman (1995-96-97-98) - A member of three national championship teams during his outstanding Husker career, Jay Foreman earned All-Big 12 honors as a junior and senior, while contributing for four straight seasons on the field. The linebacker from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was a Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior in 1998, when he recorded a career-high 97 tackles, including seven tackles for loss and three sacks. In 12 games as a starter for the 1997 national champion Huskers, Foreman added 61 stops, including five TFLs and 1.5 sacks. He finished with 233 career tackles, including 15 TFLs and five sacks to go along with 19 quarterback hurries and six pass breakups. He also forced two fumbles and recovered another, while pulling down a pair of interceptions, including one that he returned 21 yards for a touchdown against Colorado in 1996. He majored in business administration at Nebraska and graduated in December of 1998. Following graduation, Foreman was a fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1999 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons in the NFL with the Bills, Houston Texans, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. He finished his NFL career with 527 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five fumble recoveries. During his NFL offseasons, he completed his MBA at Harvard. He is the president of The Foreman Foundation and continues to work as a commentator, professional speaker and author. Jay and his wife, Allison, live in Lincoln with their four children, daughters Soleil and Ciel, and sons, Logan and Grant.
Alex Henery (2007-08-09-10) - One of the most accurate kickers in college football history, Alex Henery earned first-team All-America honors as a senior at Nebraska in 2010. The 6-2 place-kicker/punter out of Omaha Burke High School was a Rudy Award finalist and a two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist. An All-Big 12 selection as both a place-kicker and punter in 2009 and 2010, Henery connected on 193-of-194 PATs in his career, while converting on an NCAA-record 88.9 percent (68-76) of his career field goals. From inside 50 yards, Henery hit 63-of-65 career field goal attempts. As a senior in 2010, Henery went a perfect 54-for-54 on PATs and hit 18-of-19 fields. He finished his Husker career with a school-record 397 points. His 68 career field goals were a school record, including a season-record 24 field goals as a junior in 2009. He also set the school and Memorial Stadium record with his 57-yard field goal against Colorado in 2008. While he rewrote the Husker record books as a place-kicker, he was also Nebraska’s starting punter his final two seasons in Lincoln. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt as a senior. He pinned opponents inside their own 20 on 26 of his 69 punts. As a junior, he buried the opposition inside its own 20 of 30 occasions and boomed a career-long 76-yard punt against Virginia Tech. In the same game against the Hokies, Henery hit on a career-high five field goals. The Omaha native was chosen with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2011, Henery set the NFL record for field goal accuracy by a rookie kicker (.889, 24-27) while also hitting all 46 of his PATs. In 2012, he connected on a franchise-record 22 consecutive field goals, while finishing 27-of-31 (.871) on the season. He spent the 2013 season with the Eagles, hitting 23-of-28 field goals (.821) while hitting all 45 of his PATs. He was also a member of the Detroit Lions in 2014. He and his wife, Johna, have a son, Landen, and the couple lives in Omaha, where he works for Tetrad Property Group as a project manager. Henery was a construction management major at Nebraska.
2019 Hall of Famers from the State College Ranks
Richie Ross (Nebraska-Kearney, 2002-03-04-05) - The most prolific wide receiver in the history of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, two-time NCAA Division II All-American Richie Ross caught 279 passes for 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Lopers from 2002 to 2005. In addition to his school-record receiving totals, Ross also threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score during his UNK career. The four-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection was the 2003 RMAC Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, after amassing a school-record 1,482 receiving yards. His top performance that season included 16 receptions for a school-record 317 yards against Fort Hays State. As a senior, he covered 1,360 yards on 87 receptions with 19 touchdowns. He added two more receiving touchdowns with 131 yards in the Division II All-Star Game at the conclusion of his senior year. After beginning his collegiate career with a basketball scholarship to South Dakota, Ross transferred to UNK to play football. In 2002, he was the RMAC Freshman of the Year, leading the Lopers to the RMAC title and their first-ever NCAA Division II playoff berth. One of only two athletes in the history of the state of Nebraska to be named both the Lincoln Journal Star Prep Boys Athlete of the Year (2000, Lincoln High) and the Journal Star State College Male Athlete of the Year (2006, UNK), Ross was a first-team Super-Stater in both football and basketball as a senior for the Links, while adding a gold medal in the triple jump. The 6-4, 200-pounder signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He was a practice squad member for the Tennessee Titans in 2006 and made the Titans’ active roster in 2007. Ross was inducted into the University of Nebraska at Kearney Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. He was also inducted into the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Ross will be inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame on Sept. 22, 2019. He lives in Lincoln where he works for the Lincoln Public Schools. He has three children, Richard Jr., Quincy and Adrienne.
2019 Hall of Fame Coach
Brad Smith (Chadron State, 1987-2004) - Former Chadron State coach and athletic director Brad Smith becomes the 36th coach and the first since 2012 to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. Smith spent 18 seasons (1987-2004) leading the Eagles and was a three-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1996, 1999, 2001). Smith led Chadron State to a 10-0 regular season and a final No. 7 AFCA national ranking in 2001. His 2002 and 2003 teams also finished in the AFCA Top 25, while his 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 teams all advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. His 1989 and 1990 teams advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs and finished in the top 10, after he built the program from a 1-8 record in his first season in 1987. At the conference level, Smith’s Chadron State teams won the 1996 and 2001 RMAC titles and shared the crowns in 1998, 1999 and 2002. As part of the RMAC’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2009, Smith was named the RMAC’s all-time football coach. Although Smith retired from coaching in 2004, he continued as Chadron State Athletic Director until 2013. Smith got his start in coaching at Chadron State in 1972, after completing his college career as a cornerback at Western Illinois. He earned his master’s degree from Chadron State in 1973. After a brief stint as the secondary coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Smith spent three seasons as the head coach at Alliance High School. After four seasons as a high school coach in Wisconsin and six seasons as an assistant at Western Illinois, he returned to Chadron State in 1987. Brad and his wife, Pam, have three children.
The Indoor Football announced its awards during the holiday weekend. The United Bowl is Saturday when Arizona hosts Sioux Falls.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tommy Armstrong (QB, Nebraska Danger)
Nebraska Danger QB Tommy Armstrong has been named the 2019 IFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Joining the Danger after a distinguished collegiate career at the University of Nebraska, Armstrong quickly proved to be one of the most dynamic players in the IFL.
The University of Nebraska's all-time leader in total offense was hard to contain in his rookie season in the IFL. Armstrong finished his rookie campaign completing 150 of 251 passes for 1,799 yards and 37 touchdowns. A dangerous weapon in the rushing game, Armstrong led the IFL with 720 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns.
Armstrong was named the IFL Offensive Player of the Week in Week 1 and later helped the Danger advance to the conference championships for the seventh year in a row.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bakari Triggs (DB, Green Bay Blizzard)
Green Bay Blizzard DB Bakari Triggs has been named the 2019 IFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Triggs's forceful ability to make plays in the secondary helped the Green Bay Blizzard advance to the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
Triggs concluded his rookie campaign with 47 tackles, six interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble and 10 pass breakups. His six interceptions tied him for the lead in the IFL. His 10 pass breakups were fourth most in the league. The Blizzard defensive back was named the Week 5 Defensive Player of the Week in a game where he recorded an interception for a touchdown. Bell was named a First Team All-IFL Defensive Back at the conclusion of the season.
Most Improved Award: Jarrod Harrington (WR, Arizona Rattlers)
Arizona Rattlers WR Jarrod Harrington has been named the Most Improved Player of the 2019 season. After having a small role with the Rattlers last season in which he totaled just 287 total yards and three touchdowns, Harrington became an explosive playmaker for the Rattlers in 2019 as he helped guide the Rattlers to an undefeated regular season (14-0) and a United Bowl appearance.
Harrrington became the go-to offensive playmaker for Arizona this season as he caught 54 passes for 696 yards and 14 touchdowns. Additionally, he added 574 kick return touchdowns. His 1,324 all-purpose yards led the Rattlers this season and was fourth in the IFL. Harrington was twice named IFL Special Teams Player of the Week this season.
At the end of the season, Harrington was named as the Second Team All-IFL WR.
Adam Pringle Award: (Quinton Pedroza (WR, Quad City Steamwheelers)
Quad City Steamwheelers WR Quinton Pedroza the recipient of the 2019 Adam Pringle Man of the Year Award. The award, named after a very influential and highly respected member of the former West Michigan Thunderhawks, is given to the player or coach who exemplified outstanding service and dedication to their surrounding community.
In addition to being named a First Team All-IFL Wide Receiver in 2019, Pedroza also gave back to the Quad City community in the form of substitute teaching. Through teaching, Pedroza became an active adult role model in Quad City children's lives.
Franchise of the Year: Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have been named the IFL Franchise of the Year. Selected by their peers, factors considered for achieving this award consisted of attendance, sales, public relations, marketing, on-field performance, community involvement and overall representation of the IFL.
"It all starts at the top with (Owner) Ron Shurts," said Rattlers President Chris Presson. "Ron has set the tone throughout the organization from the outset. Kevin (Guy) and I have tried to continue to build on that and carry forward what we know he expects. Our staff on both the business side and the football side come together daily to do what's best for the organization."
Presson added,"Special thanks as well to the Phoenix Suns and Talking Stick Resort Arena for helping to continue to drive our business forward. Thank you as well to the Indoor Football League and our partners who strive everyday to get better."
The Rattlers organization continues to build a sterling example of success on and off the field. This season the Rattlers averaged about 15,000 fans per game and will advance to their second United Bowl championship in three years.
Executive of the Year: Jeff Lamberti – Iowa Barnstormers
Iowa Barnstormers Owner Jeff Lamberti has been named the 2019 IFL Executive of the Year.
"I am honored to receive this award given all the outstanding owners and business executives we have in this league," said Lamberti. I am pleased we are in a position to grow the league and make this the premier indoor football league in the country."
Lamberti helped guide the Barnstormers to their first-ever championship last season and a third consecutive United Conference Championship this season. Under Lamberti's leadership the the Iowa Barnstormers continue to be a beacon of success on and off the field.
Best Fan Base: Arizona Rattlers
For a third consecutive season, the Arizona Rattlers have the IFL's Best Fan Base. The award is given to the team with the fans that show the most enthusiasm, energy, and overall appreciation for their team. Fans at the "Snake Pit" show up and create a raucous environment for each and every home game
Best Game Operations: Green Bay Blizzard
The Green Bay Blizzard have been awarded Best Game Day Operations. The Blizzard pride themselves in putting on a great show for their home fans, constantly creating the most interactive and innovative on-field promotions. This season, the Blizzard held a variety of theme and giveaway nights and even held a post-game laser show to help make the Resch Center one of the most entertaining venues in the IFL.
Best Cheerleader/Dance Team: Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have earned the Best Cheerleader/Dance Team award in 2019. The "Sidewinders" continue to establish themselves as one of the preeminent dance teams in all of indoor football. The award is based on talent, attractiveness, uniforms and crowd interaction.
Community Relations Award: Quad City Steamwheelers
The Community Relations award is presented to the team that best exemplifies outstanding service to their community. The Quad City Steamwheelers continue to distinguish themselves as leaders in the Quad City area with their support of a variety of community programs.
Hospitality Award: Sioux Falls Storm
The Sioux Falls Storm have earned the Hospitality Award in 2019. The hospitality award is given to the team that provided the best overall experience for the visiting team while on the road. The Storm earned the award as the team was judged to have the best host hotel, pre- and post-game meals and other accommodations that exceeded expectations.
Best Website/Social Media: Cedar Rapids River Kings
The Cedar Rapids River Kings have been awarded Best Website/Social Media in 2019. After rebranding in the offseason, the River Kings earn the award based on a variety of factors such as aesthetics, ease of use, up-to-date information, content and fan interaction.
Best Mascot: Green Bay Blizzard
The Best Mascot of the 2019 season goes to the Green Bay Blizzard. No stranger to this award, Bruiser along with his nephews Blizz and Bling bring an unbridled excitement to every home game as well as the community. The Green Bay mascots were named the most creative, energetic and talented mascots in the IFL.
Best Media Relations: Tucson Sugar Skulls
The Tucson Sugar Skulls have been awarded Best Media Relations. A first-year organization, the Sugar Skulls earned this distinction based on their media involvement, press releases, game notes, articles, media guides and overall content.
Best Game Broadcast: Iowa Barnstormers
The Iowa Barnstormers have been awarded Best Game Broadcast. The Barnstormers earned the designation based on their game direction, graphics, in-game commentators, storylines and appearance.
Offensive Player of the Year: E.J Hilliard (QB, Quad City Steamwheelers)Quad City Steamwheelers QB E.J Hilliard has been named the 2019 IFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Hilliard (6'3, 210, Valdosta State) led the IFL in passing yards (2,739) and was second in passing touchdowns (57) as he led one of the most explosive offenses in the IFL this season. In addition, Hilliard added 462 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He finished his stellar season completing 205 of 330 passes for 2,739 yards, 57 touchdowns against just three interceptions. His three interceptions tied for fewest in the IFL.
Hilliard connected with First Team All-IFL Wide Receivers Keyvan Rudd and Quinton Pedroza to help the Steamwheelers lead the IFL in passing yards per game (194.9) and rank third in total yards per game (265.4).
At the end of the season, Hilliard was named the Second Team All-IFL QB
Defensive Player of the Year: Davontae Merriweather (DB, Arizona Rattlers)
Arizona Rattlers DB Davontae Merriweather has been named the 2019 IFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Building off a 2018 season in which he totaled 52 tackles, Merriweather (6'1,200, West Texas A&M) developed into one the IFL's preeminent defensive backs in 2019. Merriweather finished his 2019 campaign with 103 tackles, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, four interceptions, one sack and 12 pass breakups. His 103 tackles led the IFL while his 12 pass breakups tied for second.
Merriweather's stellar defensive play helped fuel the Rattlers dominant defense this season and helped propel the team to their second United Bowl appearance.The Rattlers led the IFL in fewest points allowed per game (36.4), fewest pass yards allowed (134.5), interceptions (21) and defensive touchdowns (8).
At the conclusion of the regular season, Merriweather was named a First Team All-IFL Defensive Back selection.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Marques Rodgers (KR, San Diego Strike Force)
San Diego Strike Force KR Marques Rodgers has been named the 2019 IFL Special Teams Player of the Year.
One of the most dynamic weapons in the IFL, Rodgers (5'10, 180, Western New Mexico) earned his way into IFL history as he accounted for 2,229 all-purpose yard this season, third most all-time. He became just the second player to top 2,000 all-purpose yards since 2009 (Tyler Williams, 2017).
Rodgers finished his season with a league-leading 1,322 kick return yards, 70 receptions for 783 receiving yards and nine touchdowns He also added 124 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Rodgers returned one kickoff for a touchdown as well. The San Diego wide receiver totaled 100 points on the season.
Following the season, Rodgers was named First Team All-IFL Kick Returner and a Second Team All-IFL Wide Receiver.
Most Valuable Player: Daquan Neal (QB, Iowa Barnstormers)
Iowa Barnstormers QB Daquan Neal has been named the 2019 IFL Most Valuable Player.
In his first season at quarterback for the Barnstormers, Neal (6'2,215, Elizabeth City State) led the IFL in passing touchdowns and helped the Iowa Barnstormers advance to the United Conference Championship for a third consecutive season.
Neal finished his season completing 225 of 317 passes for 2,642 yards and 59 touchdowns against just three interceptions. His 59 touchdown passes were the most in the IFL while his 2,642 passing yards were second most. Neal found his way into the IFL record books as his 71 percent completion percentage was third-most all-time. A threat running the ball, Neal rushed for 649 yards and 24 touchdowns. Neal's 24 rushing touchdowns ranked second in the league.
Neal was named IFL Offensive Player of the Week three time during the season and was named as the First Team All-IFL QB.Head Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson (Green Bay)
After leading the Green Bay Blizzard to playoffs for the first time in seven years, Corey Roberson has been named IFL Head Coach of the Year.
In his first season as full-time head coach of the Blizzard, Roberson turned around a team that had won a combined five games over the last two years and guided them to a 9-5 record in 2019. Roberson's guidance helped the Blizzard earn the #4 seed in the playoffs and a playoff home game.
A former IFL player and defensive coordinator, Roberson orchestrated the Blizzard defense that ranked second in the IFL in points allowed (37.2). Under Roberson's tutelage, DB Bakari Triggs was named IFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Additionally, Triggs and DL Silverberry Mouhon were named First Team All-IFL selections while OL Vincent Calhoun was named a Second Team selection.
The seventh-annual Nebraska Football Road Race will take place on Sunday, July 14. The one-mile fun run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K run will follow, with an estimated start time of 8:30 a.m. Both races will start and finish on Stadium Drive just outside the west side of Memorial Stadium.
The history of the Nebraska Football Road Race is directly tied to the inspirational relationship created in 2012 between former Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead and Jack Hoffman. Because of this relationship, the Nebraska football team has been committed to raising awareness and funds for pediatric brain cancer research. In the six previous road races, a total of just over $230,000 has been raised.
Fans can register for the races by going to www.huskers.com/roadrace. Online registration is open until July 10 at 5:59 p.m. The cost until July 10 is $25 for the one-mile fun run and $30 for the 5K. Runners will also receive a commemorative race-day shirt and bracelet. All proceeds will benefit the Buffet Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its pediatric brain cancer research efforts.
Runners can still register after July 10 by going to the Lincoln Running Company (1213 Q St.) and paying a $40 late-registration fee for the 5K and $30 late-registration fee for the one-mile fun run. Registration at the Lincoln Running Company closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Runners can also sign up on race day for either the 5K or the one-mile fun run for $40 at the check-in table located near the start/finish line, but will not be listed in the results due to chip timing. Shirt sizes for late registrants are not guaranteed. Additionally, the first 1,000 registrants will be invited to watch a preseason Nebraska football scrimmage in Memorial Stadium in August. A date has not been finalized. Each registrant will receive an email with more details about the scrimmage as the date approaches.
The Nebraska Football Road Race is also a great way for fans to meet the team prior to the season. Select players will participate in the one-mile fun run and registrants will have opportunities to interact with the members of the Nebraska football team at the event.