Zach Wiegert, the 1994 Outland Trophy winner and unanimous first-team All-American at offensive tackle, is Nebraska’s newest member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Wiegert’s selection was announced Monday as he joined 17 other former players and three coaches in the 2022 class. He becomes the 20th former Husker player to be immortalized in the hall. It is a distinction earned by only two one-hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of those who have played or coached the college game, according to the National Football Foundation.
This was Wiegert’s seventh time on the ballot but the first time he was not competing against fellow Huskers for votes. He saw the honor go to Aaron Taylor in 2018 and Eric Crouch in 2020.
Wiegert came to Lincoln in 1990 from Fremont, Neb., where his basketball exploits were what drew the most interest from college recruiters during his senior year at Bergan High. Instead, he became an anchor of what would become known as Nebraska football’s “Pipeline” offensive line.
As a senior and co-captain on Nebraska’s 1994 national championship team, he was a Lombardi Award finalist in addition to winning the Outland, and he placed ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He earned national lineman-of-the-year awards from United Press International the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) and was named first-team All-Big Eight for a third consecutive season. The Huskers averaged 340 yards per game on the ground as he led the team with 113 pancake blocks in 1994.
During his 46-game career, Wiegert gave up just one sack en route to earning all-conference honors in 1992, 1993 and 1994. He played in two national championship games, including the 1995 Orange Bowl. In that game, the strength and stamina of the offensive line in the fourth quarter against Miami enabled the Huskers to come from behind and earn coach Tom Osborne his first national title on the Hurricanes’ home turf.
The following spring, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Wiegert was a second-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 1995 NFL draft. He played 12 seasons in the league - four apiece with the Rams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans.
The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted Dec. 6. Each new member will also be honored at his school with an on-campus salute during the 2022 football season.
Anatomy of an Era
For insights into Zach Wiegert’s career in Lincoln and behind-the-scenes stories from Wiegert himself, don’t miss these three installments from Paul Koch’s Anatomy of an Era series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Congrats from Trev Alberts
Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts, a teammate of Wiegert’s in the early 1990s and himself a HOF inductee, tweeted the following:
He once told an opposing d-line “we’re running the ball right here, go ahead and try and stop it” & proceeded to run iso 44 times in the game. Couldn’t be happier for my old teammate and good friend Zach Wiegert. Welcome to the CFB HOF brother!
Hall of Fame quarterback Tommie Frazier also offered his congratulations ...
"Zach was one of the most competitive and toughest linemen I have seen. He would never back down from any challenge. I am pleased to see him join the fraternity of Nebraska players in the College Football Hall of Fame."
And so did Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne ...
"Zach Wiegert was a great player at Nebraska during the 1990s. Zach was very intelligent and was also very aggressive and athletic. He stood out as an exceptional offensive lineman among many who played on our offensive lines during that period. I am pleased that he has received Hall of Fame recognition as he is certainly most deserving of this honor."
- 2022 Hall of Fame class & ballot
- Nebraska Athletics announcement & bio
- Hall of Fame Huskers and honors scorecard
- Husker Captains Become Leaders in Life
- Wiegert on the web
- 1995 Orange Bowl
- Hall of Fame website
- HuskerMax discussion