A look at the trio of Huskers who earned senior football awards


Penn State vs. Nebraska, 11.14

Nebraska’s Collin Miller (31) celebrates after Ben Stille (95) tackled Penn State quarterback Will Levis (7) on Nov. 14 at Memorial Stadium.

Neither defensive back Dicaprio Bootle nor inside linebacker Collin Miller will be back with Nebraska’s football program on the field in 2021, but they both earned some hardware Thursday. So, too, did Ben Stille, who has not yet decided whether to return to the Huskers for one more season.

Bootle, a senior from Miami, was named the Guy Chamberlin Trophy winner, and Miller, a senior from Fishers, Indiana, took home the Tom Novak Trophy.

The Chamberlin has been given since 1967 and, according to NU, is meant for the “senior player who has shown by the play and contributions to the betterment of the University of Nebraska football squad that he has the qualities and dedication of Guy Chamberlin to the great Cornhusker tradition.”

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Guy Chamberlin, a Blue Springs native, is an NFL Hall of Famer and a college football Hall of Famer.

Bootle said of winning the award via Twitter, “Thankful and blessed to receive such an honor. I gave my all every day wearing the “N” on my helmet and will continue to give my all to represent the “N” in all that I do!”

The Novak is given to a senior who, according to NU, “best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-America center Tom Novak.”

Miller was among the team’s leading tacklers and was considered by head coach Scott Frost to be the “soul” of Nebraska’s defense this year before he suffered a career-ending neck injury against Illinois in November.

Stille won the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award, which is voted on by the coaching staff.

The Ashland-Greenwood graduate, the coaches decided, was the senior player who “best exemplifies the following qualities: good work ethic; competitiveness; leadership; forthrightness; sense of humor; pride; loyalty; and love of Nebraska.”

Stille has not yet said publicly whether he intends to return to Nebraska for the 2021 season and use the extra season of eligibility granted by the NCAA. He would certainly provide a boost to Chinander’s defense if he did, considering he led the Husker defensive line in playing time, showed versatility up front and finished with 27 tackles (three for loss) and 1.5 sacks.

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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