Blazing a trail: Fabian Washington hard to beat on any list of fastest Huskers

August 26, 2018

In part because Nebraska football players generally don’t line up and perform all-out sprint races against each other, determining the fastest Huskers of all time is an exercise in futility. However, from asking several players from the last 25-plus years, one can put together a solid list of those who made an impression on teammates with speed.

Fabian Washington, cornerback (2002-04): Since 2013, only 11 players have run a 40-yard-dash in less than 4.30 seconds at the NFL Combine. Washington (4.29) was one of them. Say no more.

Willie Amos, cornerback/wide receiver (2000-04): If any teammate was faster than him, Washington says, it was Willie. In 2001, competing for the Husker track and field team, Amos ran an indoor personal-best time of :21.64 in the 200 meters.

Bobby Newcombe, quarterback/wingback (1997-2000): Says a former Husker defensive back who squared off against Newcombe in practices: “Before he hurt his knee (in 1998), Bobby was ridiculous. He could flat-out fly!”

Lance Lundberg, offensive lineman (1989-93): It would be unfair to list only the little guys, right? A 6-foot-4, 300-pound tackle, Lundberg covered 40 yards in 5.02 seconds, according to Nebraska’s 2003 media guide.

Zach Wiegert, offensive lineman (1991-94): Several ex-Huskers mentioned Wiegert as another big man who could run. The 1994 Outland Trophy winner was the 38th pick in the 1995 NFL Draft and played a dozen seasons in the league.

Eric Johnson, linebacker (1996-99): Nebraska had some ridiculously fast backers on its great defenses of the 1990s, and the 6-1, 215-pound Johnson parlayed his jets into a six-year NFL career as an undrafted free agent.

Terrell Farley, linebacker (1995-96): His career seemed to pass in a flash. A transfer from Independence (Kansas) Community College, he passed blockers in a flash en route to blocking three kicks. He also had eight sacks and 24 QB hurries in his two seasons.

Mike Minter, safety/linebacker (1992-96): One of the program’s all-time safety greats, the 5-10, 195-pound Minter recorded five interceptions and five QB hurries in 1996. That’s flying around the field.

Brandon Reilly, wide receiver (2012-16): When Reilly was a little-known walk-on in 2013, Bo Pelini couldn’t wait to unveil him as a secret weapon. Pelini dubbed Reilly “White Lightning.” Do you really think we’re going to keep “White Lightning” off this list?

Kenny Bell, wide receiver (2011-14): If Reilly is going to make this list, we probably better include Bell — because we’re pretty sure Bell could edge former teammate Reilly in a sprint, you know, if it were to ever happen. Bell was a blazer deluxe.

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