Twenty members of the 2011 Husker football team have been named to the 15th annual Brook Berringer Citizenship Team. The honored student-athletes will be recognized on the field before kickoff of Saturday’s Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.
The group includes 14 players named to the first team of the Berringer team and another six football student-athletes named honorable mention.
The Brook Berringer Citizenship Team was established by the Husker football program in honor of former Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer, who died in a plane crash in April of 1996. Berringer was a member of NU's back-to-back national championship teams in 1994 and 1995.
Berringer was also one of the most dedicated Husker volunteers in the community with youth, both in Nebraska and in his hometown of Goodland, Kan. The team honors players who display a similar love and dedication for volunteering in the community through Nebraska's nationally recognized Life Skills program.
This year’s Berringer Citizenship Team is comprised of four 2011 seniors, and 16 student-athletes who are members of the 2012 Nebraska football team. The group is headlined by 2011 senior defensive back Lance Thorell, who is a member of the team for the fourth straight year. Senior I-back Rex Burkhead and senior tight end Jake Cotton were each named to the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team for a third time.
Eight additional student-athletes are on the team for the second time including 2011 seniors Jim Ebke and Tyler Legate, senior wide receiver Steven Osborne, junior fullback C.J. Zimmerer, sophomore defensive end Donovan Vestal, sophomore quarterback Brion Carnes, senior tight end Kyler Reed and sophomore receiver Tyler Evans.
First-time honorees on the team include 2011 senior Jay Martin, junior quarterback Ron Kellogg III, junior offensive lineman Brandon Chapek, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ryan Klachko, junior offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles, junior tight end Robert Barry, senior kicker/punter Brett Maher, junior offensive lineman Nick Ash and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Chris Long.
The football team has continued to be among Nebraska’s most active teams in the local community. The squad has been a finalist for the Life Skills Team Award each of the past seven seasons, including capturing the award in 2011.
Athletic Director Tom Osborne, Brook Berringer’s head coach, will make the presentation to the Berringer team recipients, along with Brook’s mother, Jan, and additional members of the Berringer family.
In addition to the Berringer team, 2011 senior defensive back Austin Cassidy will be honored on Saturday as the recipient of the sixth annual Cletus Fischer Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship is presented annually to a Nebraska football player who has demonstrated a high level of athletic and academic achievement, has completed both his athletic eligibility and undergraduate studies, and has plans to attend post-graduate school.
Cassidy was a two-year starter at safety in 2010 and 2011, and was a two-time first-team Academic All-America selection.
In addition to being part of the Berringer team for a third straight year, senior I-back Rex Burkhead will also be presented the Uplifting Athletes Award before Saturday’s game. Burkhead was selected as the winner of the award in February for his relationship with six-year-old cancer patient Jack Hoffman.
2012 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (years on team)
Robert Barry (2012)
Rex Burkhead (2010, 2011, 2012)
Brandon Chapek (2012)
Ben Cotton (2010, 2011, 2012)
Jim Ebke (2011, 2012)
Ron Kellogg III (2012)
Ryan Klachko (2012)
Tyler Legate (2011, 2012)
Brett Maher (2012)
Steven Osborne (2011, 2012)
Jeremiah Sirles (2012)
Lance Thorell (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Donovan Vestal (2011, 2012)
C.J. Zimmerer (2011, 2012)
Nick Ash (2012)
Brion Carnes (2011, 2012)
Tyler Evans (2011, 2012)
Chris Long (2012)
Jay Martin (2012)
Kyler Reed (2010, 2012)