Six standout players from Nebraska’s 1971 national championship team form the 2021 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Class announced on Tuesday.
The 2021 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 2021 Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted at a Sept. 10 banquet in Lincoln, and also recognized the following day at the Huskers’ home game against Buffalo.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Class will also be recognized at this year’s banquet.
The six 1971 players selected to the 2021 class by acclimation of the Board of Directors include defensive end John Adkins, center Doug Dumler, defensive tackle Bill Janssen, tight end Jerry List, monster back Dave Mason and offensive guard Keith Wortman. The 1971 Cornhuskers captured Nebraska’s second straight national title with a perfect 13-0 record. Along the way, Nebraska defeated No. 2 Oklahoma, 35-31, in the Game of the Century and capped its championship run with a 38-6 dismantling of second-ranked Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
In addition, the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame will present the Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award to the late Duane and Phyllis Acklie family and the Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award to Jim and Suzanne Pillen. The recipients of those awards were chosen in the spring of 2020, but will be recognized as part of this year’s Hall of Fame activities.
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.
The 2020 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Class announced last December will also be honored. That group includes running back Doug DuBose, defensive end Ray Phillips, and four members of the 1970 national championship team. The 1970 group includes assistant coach Carl Selmer, quarterback Van Brownson, fullback Dan Schneiss and offensive tackle Wally Winter. The final member of the 2020 class was Chris Bober, a Division II All-American at UNO.
2021 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductees
John Adkins, Defensive End, 1968-71—A three-year letterwinner as a defensive end, Adkins earned honorable-mention All-Big Eight honors in 1971. He made 41 tackles and had 10 tackles for loss in his senior season. A native of Lynchburg, Va., Adkins was an Academic All-American in 1970.
Doug Dumler, Center, 1970-72—Dumler was a three-year starter at center for the Huskers, anchoring a powerful offensive line. Dumler earned second-team All-Big Eight honors, as well as Academic All-Big Eight recognition, and went on to play five seasons in the NFL with the Patriots and the Vikings.
Bill Janssen, Defensive Tackle, 1969-72—Janssen was a versatile performer and member of two national championship teams. Janssen played defensive end, offensive guard, center and defensive tackle during his career. He was a second-team All-Big Eight pick as a senior when he made 48 tackles and eight TFL. He was also an Academic All-Big Eight selection.
Jerry List, Tight End, 1970-72—List was one of the Big Eight’s top tight ends for three straight years, earning honorable-mention all-conference recognition. List finished his career with 67 receptions, topping 20 catches each season from 1970 to 1972. List passed away in 1993.
Dave Mason, Monster, 1969-72—Mason was a standout defensive back for the Huskers from 1969 to 1972, earning second-team All-Big Eight honors as a senior in 1972. Mason made his mark on the 1971 national title run, returning three interceptions for touchdowns. He was also a two-time Academic All-Big Eight selection.
Keith Wortman, Offensive Guard, 1970-71—Wortman was a standout offensive lineman on Nebraska’s back-to-back national championship teams. The Whittier, Calif., native earned honorable-mention All-Big Eight honors in 1971, when NU averaged better than 39 points per game. Wortman went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL with the Packers and Cardinals.