Tag Archives: nebraska greats

Crouch, Eric

UFLTNT10 CrouchCards: TNT UFL 2011, Upper Deck MVP 2002
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 5/22     Received: 5/31    (9 days)*
*Failure: RTS 2013, C/o Home

Eric Crouch is a hometown football hero, playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and winning the 2002 Heisman Trophy. There he became as well known for his passing, as he was for his rushing, out of the wishbone offense. He set numerous records there including the career touchdown leader with 88, most TDs rushing by a QB with 59 (NCAA record), and the school’s career total offensive yardage leader with 7915 yards. He also became one of 3 quarterbacks to rush for over 3000 yards and pass for over 4000.

Draft pundits were unsure of the final position he should play, but overall he was generally regarded as a well rounded athlete.  The Rams drafted Eric in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft to play receiver, but with his heart not in the position change, Eric packed his bags. Later he’d resurface on the roster of the Packers from UDMVP02 Crouch2003-2004, and the Chiefs in 2005. Eric then took a stint to play in the NFLE with the Hamburg SeaDevils in 2005.  There he played free safety notching 25 tackles and 2 passes defensed.

Returning across the pond, Crouch went to play for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 2006. There he’d finally be taken seriously as a quarterback, where he could hone his skills. He completed 6 of 13 passes, for 127 yards, and a pick.  The next season, Crouch was expected to compete for the second string job, but injuries derailed his CFL career, and he’d be released midway through the 2007 season.

A new league, the AAFL (All American Football League) appeared in 2008 with teams scheduled to play in 6 markets. The league hastily put a draft together, and Eric Crouch was the 3rd overall pick by Team Texas, coached by former UH coach John Jenkins. Unfortunately the AAFL never took to the field due to ‘softening financial markets’.

With Eric’s rights released, he decided to give an open tryout a shot with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks. He signed with the team in June of 2010, and played during the regular season, but in a September contest suffered a torn miniscus, ending his career.

He’s currently retired and lives in Nebraska with his wife and 2 children.

Rathman, Tom

Cards: ProSet 1989, Score 1991, Upper Deck 1992
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o The San Fransisco 49ers
Sent: 6/14    Received: 6/20  (6 days)

Tom Rathman was a  dominating fullback who set records at Nebraska averaging well over 7 yards a carry his senior season in 1985.  He’d be drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL draft by the San Fransisco 49ers and immediately saw time on special teams while his playing time increased at fullback. During the 1987 season, head coach Bill Walsh shifted Roger Craig from fullback to runningback and started Tom at fullback blocking for him. For only catching 5 passes during college, Tom not only displayed a hard nosed inside running style, he also became an accomplished receiver notching a career high 73 receptions in 1989. Craig also benefited from Tom’s blocking rushing for 1502 yards in 1988, and 1089 in 1989. As Roger moved on to the Raiders after the 1990 season, the 49ers selected Ricky Watters in 1991. Tom continued paving the way, blocking for 1,000 yard backs. Tom played for the 49ers through 1993 and then signed with the Raiders in 1994 for one final season.  Despite playing 9 seasons and leading NFL runningbacks in receptions in 1989, Tom Rathman was never named to the Pro Bowl- partially because the fullback position was never considered a separate position from runningback in Pro Bowl voting until 1993.

After 9 seasons, Tom would take some time off and then return to sport as a coach. In 1997 he’d become the 49ers runningbacks coach, on Steve Mariucci’s staff and then later followed Mooch to Detroit in 2003. In 2006, he coached with the Oakland Raiders, – a position that he held with the team until he returned to the 49ers staff in 2009.

The gods of Tecmo Bowl saw Tom Rathman, and looked favorably upon the stout fullback in his quest for glory. Rewarded by Tecmo he’d be graciously awarded monster hitting power and receiving ability becoming truly a one-two punch with Roger Craig. Well worth it, I was surprised to get Tom’s autograph on these 3 cards in a short 6 days care of the 49ers organization.

G/Gs 131/107   Rush 544      Yds 2020     Avg  3.7     Td 26      lg  35     |       Rec 320    Yds  2684    Avg 8.4    Td 8       Lg 36