A pair of record-breaking Nebraska wide receivers were honored on Tuesday, as JD Spielman was named a freshman All-American by USA Today, while Stanley Morgan Jr. was named a first-team All-Big Ten performer by Phil Steele.
Spielman was one of only two wide receivers named a freshman All-American by USA Today and one of only 11 total offensive players. Morgan was one of three wideouts selected to Phil Steel’s All-Big Ten first team. Spielman broke one Nebraska single game record and three Husker freshman records in 2017, while Morgan set two NU season receiving records.
A redshirt freshman from Eden Prairie, Minn., Spielman set Nebraska freshman records with 55 catches and 830 receiving yards in 2017. He added 669 kickoff return yards to lead the Huskers with a 1,572 all-purpose yards, the most ever by an NU freshman. On the season, Spielman gained an average of 17.1 yards every time he touched the ball.
Spielman led all freshmen nationally with 75.5 receiving yards per game in 2017 and ranked second with 5.0 receptions per game and 142.9 all-purpose yards per game. He had a school-record 200-yard receiving game against Ohio State, the most receiving yards in a game by any freshman in 2017. Speilman also posted the second-longest play by a freshman in 2017 when he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas State on the first touch of his career.
In addition to his freshman All-America honor, Spielman was also a coaches’ third-team All-Big Ten selection at receiver and an honorable-mention choice as a kick returner. Spielman led the Big Ten with 88.1 receiving yards per game in conference action, and his 200 receiving yards against Ohio State marked the second-highest individual total in league play during the 2017 season.
Morgan also enjoyed a record-breaking season as a junior in 2017, when he led the Huskers with 61 receptions, 986 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. Morgan’s 986 receiving yards were a Nebraska single-season record, supplanting 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers atop that chart. Morgan also ranked third in school history in touchdown receptions and was third in receptions. He also totaled a school-record five 100-yard receiving games in 2017.
A second-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches, Morgan led the Big Ten in touchdown catches, receiving yards per game (89.6) and 100-yard receiving games, while ranking second in receiving yards and third in receptions. At the conclusion of his junior season, Morgan ranked sixth all-time at Nebraska with 1,743 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions and was seventh with 119 receptions.
In addition to Morgan’s first-team selection, Spielman was named to Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten second team, while junior long snapper Jordan Ober was a third-team selection.