LINCOLN–(NU Athletics July 18)–Six Nebraska standouts, a state college representative, and two pioneers from the early 20th century comprise the 2023 class of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.
The 2023 inductees were chosen by the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame. The 2023 Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted at a Sept. 22 banquet in Lincoln and recognized the following day at the Huskers’ home game against Louisiana Tech.
The six former Huskers were selected to the 2023 class by balloting of the Hall of Fame membership, include defensive tackle David Clark (1980s category), linebacker Troy Dumas (1990s category), punter Sam Koch (2000-06 category), defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000-06 category), quarterback Taylor Martinez (2007-13 category) and offensive guard Spencer Long (2007-13 category).
The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Board also selected a pair of former Huskers from the Legends category including head coach W.C. “King” Cole and quarterback Leon G. Warner.
The 2023 class of inductees also includes a state college representative in Dan Klepper, an All-America offensive guard for Nebraska-Omaha in the 1960s.
In addition, the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame will present the Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award to Lauritzen Family of Omaha, and the Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award to Jim and Sharri Baldanado of Elwood, Neb.
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, while active NFL players are not on the ballot.
2023 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductees
David Clark, Defensive Tackle, 1978-80—A three-time letterwinner, Clark had a standout senior season in 1980. The Odessa, Texas, native had 40 tackles including nine for loss as a senior, and also recovered two fumbles. Clark was a first-team All-Big Eight selection as a senior and earned honorable-mention All-America honors.
Troy Dumas, Linebacker, 1991-94—Dumas was a four-year letterwinner for Coach Tom Osborne, highlighted by an outstanding senior season in 1994. Dumas played his first three seasons in the secondary, before moving to Sam linebacker as a senior when he had 69 tackles, four tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries. Dumas helped Nebraska rank in the top 10 nationally in all four major defensive statistical categories and he earned first-team All-Big Eight honors for his play.
Sam Koch, Punter, 2003-05—The school record holder for season punting average, Koch was part of a long line of kicking standouts for the Huskers. The Seward native averaged 46.51 yards per punt in 2005 to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors and he was named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. Koch averaged better than 44 yards per punt in his career to rank second in Nebraska history. He went on to a 16-year NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, Defensive End, 1997-2000—Vanden Bosch played in 50 games in his Nebraska career and totaled more than 140 tackles, including 34 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. In his senior season, Vanden Bosch had 17 tackles for loss and 26 quarterback hurries. Vanden Bosch was a two-time second-team All-Big 12 selection and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during a 12-year NFL career. Off the field, Vanden Bosch was the recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Draddy Trophy, commonly referred to as the academic Heisman.
Taylor Martinez, Quarterback, 2010-13—A record-setting quarterback, Martinez led Nebraska to more than 30 wins as a starting quarterback during his Husker career. Martinez was a first-team All-Big Ten pick as a junior in 2012, when he set a Nebraska season record with 3,890 yards of total offense and accounted for 33 touchdowns. A two-time team captain, Martinez was a freshman All-American and Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2010. Martinez finished his career with more than 10,000 yards of total offense.
Spencer Long, Offensive Guard, 2011-13—A three-year starter on the Husker offensive line, Long earned second-team All-America honors as a junior in 2012. With Long manning an offensive guard position, the Huskers ranked among the nation’s top rushing offenses in each of his three seasons as a starter. A team captain as a senior, Long also distinguished himself in the classroom, earning first-team Academic All-America honors as a senior.
State College Inductees
Dan Klepper, Nebraska-Omaha, Offensive Guard, 1965-68—A four-year letterwinner at Nebraska-Omaha, Klepper was a two-time All-Conference selection for the Mavericks. As a junior he earned NAIA honorable-mention All-America honors and in 1968 he was named to the Associated Press Little-American team. Klepper was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach W.C. “King” Cole, 1907-10—Cole led Nebraska to a 25-8-3 record in four seasons from 1907 to 1910. Cole guided the Huskers to their first two conference championships, winning the Missouri Valley Conference in 1907 and 1910.
Leon G. Warner, Quarterback, 1910-11—Warner guided Nebraska to the 1910 Missouri Valley Conference title as a quarterback. He was recognized as the top quarterback in the Missouri Valley and is often referred to as the school’s first dual-threat quarterback.