Quarterback Eric Crouch (left), shown with coach Frank Solich, became Nebraska’s third Heisman Trophy winner when he won the 2001 award.

Dec. 8, 2001

Eric Crouch was a wizard running the option, pure and simple.

He was extremely fast — he was once clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash — and tough as a leather boot.

Those are among the main attributes that helped the Nebraska quarterback win the Heisman Trophy in 2001.

“If you get just a little out of position, he makes you look like a fourth-grader,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder told Sports Illustrated in November 2001.

Former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney once said Crouch was the best offensive player he ever coached against.

Crouch finished the 2001 season with 1,115 rushing yards (5.5 per carry) and 18 rushing touchdowns. He completed 105 of 189 passes (55.6 percent) for 1,510 yards and seven touchdowns, with 10 interceptions.

— Steven M. Sipple

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