Athlete, scholar, author, community activist, entrepreneur and Jewel’s dad… anyway you read it Johnny Rodgers is far more than just football.
As a player with the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, Johnny Rodgers served as a punt return specialist, pass receiver and running back. Rodgers broke virtually every offensive team record during his tenure. He was twice named to the College Football All American Team, won the Walter Camp Award and the Heisman Trophy in 1972 for most outstanding player in college football.
In his three years with the Cornhuskers, the versatile Rodgers established an all-purpose NCAA yardage record of 5,586. College Football News has described him as “the greatest kick returner in college football history. Rodgers returned seven punts for touchdowns in his college career, a feat that Stood as the NCAA record for decades.
Honors recognize Johnny’s athletic ability, but he is also proud of degrees in broadcast journalism and advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2005 he was named the University of Nebraska’s Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2006 Johnny authored his first book; “An Era of Greatness: Coach Bob Devaney’s Final Four Seasons in University of Nebraska Football (1969-1972),” a “must read” for all “Husker” fans. Johnny’s second book titled; “10 Minutes Of Insanity” is a story of Johnny’s first 25 years and an inspiration for all. In addition to starting Rodgers Literary Marketing, Inc., Johnny is the founder of the Johnny Rodgers Youth Foundation. A program aimed at helping and strengthening the family structure, while creating opportunities for youth through character, education and social development. He’s in demand as a public speaker and his inspirational talks encourage teamwork and persistence in reaching goals. Johnny regularly attends and supports events that support youth sports and leadership programs. He’s active in Dr. Tom Osborne’s Teammates Mentoring Program.
Johnny was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2000. The Sports Writers Association named Johnny the Most Valuable Player in Big 8 History. He’s a member of the Nebraska Football All Century Team and in 2000 he was named the Nebraska’s Cornhusker Player of the Century. In 2008 he was named to the Omaha Public School Hall of Fame, the Sports Illustrated Best Ever All-Time All-Star and the Orange Bowl All- Time team. CBS Sports named Rodgers number six in its list of Top 10 Players in College Football ever as a Wide Receiver. Currently through his youth foundation he has joined the fight to keep kids in school. At a time of surging dropout rates across the country Mr. Rodgers is committed to helping alleviate this awful fate of so many students today. In 2013 he will take it one step further when he combines the Return Specialist Award with trade-worthy students. This year, The Return Specialist Award is happy to announce a merging of efforts with the trade branch of Metropolitan Community College. The goal is to raise $100,000.00 to be used as scholarship funds for one hundred or more students to enter trade school at the college. These funds will provide for youth from the north Omaha community, where Johnny was born, raised and continues to reside.
Joe “747” Adams (born April 5, 1958) is a former Canadian football quarterback who played three seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Rough Riders during 1982 to 1984. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the twelfth round of the 1981 NFL Draft, but remained a practice squad member during his one year with the team. He played college football at Tennessee State University. Adams garnered the nickname “747” in reference to the Boeing 747 aircraft.
Ty Anthony Montgomery II (born January 22, 1993) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford. Montgomery was drafted as a wide receiver by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. In 2016, he changed positions to running back.
Tyler Deron Lockett (born September 28, 1992) is an American football wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kansas State. In college, he set numerous Kansas State football records and was both a 2011 All-American (as a kickoff returner) and 2014 College Football All-America Team consensus All-American selection (as a punt returner). In college, he totaled 6,586 career all-purpose yards and 35 touchdowns, including 3,710 yards and 29 touchdowns as a receiver.
Christian Jackson McCaffrey (born June 7, 1996), also known by his initials CMC, is an American football running back for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers eighth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. As a sophomore in 2015, McCaffrey was named AP College Football Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He holds the NCAA record for most all-purpose yards in a season, with 3,864. McCaffrey holds numerous NFL and Panthers franchise records and is one of three players ever to record 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, doing so in 2019.
William Abb Cannon Sr. (August 2, 1937 – May 20, 2018) was an American football halfback, fullback and tight end who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He attended Louisiana State University (LSU), where he played college football as a halfback, return specialist, and safety for the LSU Tigers. At LSU, Cannon was twice named a unanimous All-American, helped the 1958 LSU team win a national championship, and received the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding college player in 1959. His punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 is considered by fans and sportswriters to be one of the most famous plays in LSU sports history.
Williams was born to Pam Veasey and Marvin Williams on July 15, 1998. He grew up in Pasadena, California and originally attended Saint Francis High School before transferring to JSerra Catholic High School before his senior year. As a senior, Williams was named Trinity League co-Most Valuable Player after rushing for 1,175 yards and 14 touchdowns on offense at running back and was also an All-Area selection at defensive back. He received no scholarship offers to play college football and enrolled at Boise State after being offered to join the team as a preferred walk-on.[
Richard Upchurch (born May 20, 1952) is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver and return specialist in the National Football League (NFL). He played his entire career with the Denver Broncos from 1975 to 1983. One of 29 individuals to be selected to multiple All-Decade teams, Upchurch is noted as one of the greatest return specialists of all time.
William Arthur Johnson (born January 27, 1952), better known as Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver and return specialist in the National Football League (NFL) from 1974 through 1988. A 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time NFL Team selection, Johnson was one of the first players to display elaborate celebrations in the end zone.
Damieon Dante Hall (born September 20, 1978) is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist who played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He is nicknamed the “Human Joystick” and the “X-Factor“. Hall was a fifth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M University by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2000 NFL Draft. Hall played for the Chiefs for seven years before being traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2007. Hall was ranked the 10th greatest return specialist in NFL history on NFL Network‘s NFL Top 10 Return Aces.
Clifford Branch Jr. (August 1, 1948 – August 3, 2019) was an American professional football wide receiver who played with the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders during his entire 14-year National Football League (NFL) career. He won three NFL championships with the Raiders in Super Bowl XI, XV and XVIII. He was selected by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Colorado Buffaloes. He was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022.
A two time All-American, Garrett set numerous NCAA, Pac-8 Conference and USC records in his career by amassing a then unheard of 3,221 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. Garrett also led the nation in rushing in 1965 with 267 carries for 1,440 yards. He also caught 36 passes, returned 43 punts, returned 30 kickoffs and threw 6 passes. Two of his passes went for touchdowns. Garrett was awarded the 1965 W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. He won the Heisman Trophy after the 1965 regular season. In 1985, he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Ginn played for his father, Ted Ginn Sr., in high school at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he played defensive back, quarterback, and wide receiver for the football team. Ginn was selected as the 2004 USA Today Defensive Player of the Year, a 2004 Parade All-American, and named the 2004 SuperPrep National Defensive Player of the Year. He also participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a member of the East team, along with former Dolphins teammates Ryan Baker and Chad Henne, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the game.
Aaron DaRon Lockett (born September 6, 1978) is a former American football and Canadian football wide receiver and return specialist in the National Football League (NFL) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Ottawa Renegades and BC Lions. He played college football at Kansas State University where he set school and Big 12 Conference football and track and field records. His brother Kevin Lockett and nephew Tyler Lockett also played wide receiver at Kansas State where they also set records.
Davis grew up in St. Francisville, Louisiana and attended West Feliciana High School, where he helped lead the Saints to a 3A state championship as a senior in 2017 and also starred in track, winning the 200-meter dash at the state meet.
Rated as a 3-star prospect, Davis chose to play his college football at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas over a scholarship offer from Tennessee. He enrolled at TCU in the summer of 2018.