UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: When will Krumrie's numbers resonate with voters?

FB_120612_Krumrie_Tim.jpg

After last month's announcement of the 2012 induction class for the College Football Hall of Fame -- a collection of 17 former players and coaches -- there were a number of passionate and persuasive arguments made for those individuals who had been "snubbed'' by the selection committee.

At the top of nearly everyone's list was Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, who put the Cornhuskers in a position to win three straight national championships. As it was, he "settled" for two NCAA rings ('94-95); twice winning the MVP award in the Orange Bowl, and once in the Fiesta Bowl.

Overcoming a series of injuries, Frazier was Tebow-esque in his final appearance as a collegian. While completing just 6-of-14 passes for 105 yards, he rushed for 199 in Nebraska's convincing dismantling of a Florida team coached by Steve Spurrier. The final score was 62-24.

Despite his pedigree as a champion, Frazier hasn't scored with the Hall of Fame voters yet.

Neither has former UW nose guard Tim Krumrie, a two-time All-American (1981-82).

Krumrie was one of 20 former Big Ten players on the 2012 ballot, which featured 76 names overall, including Purdue running back Otis Armstrong, who played in the early '70s and made the final cut. Besides Frazier and Krumrie, Ohio State fullback Jim Otis came up short in the voting process.

Nose guard and fullback are not sexy positions to anyone's thinking.

That might be one of the elements conspiring against Krumrie and Otis.

Yet in spite of playing in the middle of such gridlock -- in the heart of the trenches -- Krumrie put up numbers worthy of Hall of Fame linebackers and safeties. Krumrie, a three-time first-team All-Big Ten performer, finished his Badger career with 444 tackles, third best in school history.

444.

That's a Hall of Fame area code, regardless of position, but especially for a nose guard. By comparison, Kansas State linebacker Mark Simoneau, a member of the 2012 class, had 400 career tackles. This is not an indictment of Simoneau, but an endorsement of Krumrie. Both are deserving.

276.

That's the number of solo tackles Krumrie had during his UW career -- 25 more than Simoneau. Keep in mind, we're talking about unassisted tackles, solos. Krumrie had 276. That figure alone would rank him among Wisconsin's top 25 all-time tacklers, just ahead of Don Davey, who 267 tackles overall.

It's apparent Krumrie will have to wait his turn to be recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame. He's not alone. But hopefully he will not be penalized for being a nose guard who merely went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL during which he led the Cincinnati Bengals in tackles five times.

Upon being inducted in the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, Krumrie acknowledged, "This is one of those things that you don't target or set as a goal. But if everything else falls into place and you have a good career, these things will come afterward.

"When I first came to Wisconsin, I was just trying to make the special teams, then trying to make the travel squad, then trying to be a starter. And from the start, I played every down, every day.

"Did I have all the special tools? No. But I always wanted to be known as a guy who always played hard, always gave his best and always played every snap.''

444.

Let's not forget that, either. Nor him the next time that his name is on the ballot.

ON WISCONSIN