Former UNO football star Marlin Briscoe joins elite ranks


UNO Athletics
Marlin Briscoe will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at the end of this year after he broke 22 school records at Omaha University and then became the first black starting quarterback in AFL history.

By Jackson Taylor

Former UNO quarterback Marlin Briscoe will be one of 16 inductees brought into this year’s College Football Hall of Fame.

The Omaha native broke records at Omaha South High school as well as Omaha University and transformed the game for black quarterbacks in the NFL.

Despite being told he was better suited at running back, Briscoe shined at quarterback in high school, leading Omaha South to a city championship. That caught the attention of Omaha University head football coach Al Caniglia, who brought Briscoe on to play at OU.

Briscoe continued on to break 22 school records at the collegiate level. In his senior season for Omaha, Briscoe passed for 2,283 yards and 25 touchdowns. This earned him a spot on the Michigan Chronicle’s All-American black team alongside LeRoy Keyes of Purdue and O.J. Simpson of Southern California. Briscoe played in the final game for Omaha University before they changed to the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1967.

The next year Briscoe was drafted by the Denver Broncos as a defensive back. A Denver scout described Briscoe as: “great arm, great feet: defensive back.” However, after a series of quarterback injuries, he was called upon to play quarterback once again.

Briscoe broke nearly every rookie quarterback record and held them until they were surpassed by John Elway.

On Oct. 6, Briscoe made history as he stepped onto the field against the Cincinatti Bengals as the first starting African-American quarterback in the AFL.

Briscoe would later be traded to the Buffalo Bills where he converted to receiver. Although he never took a snap at quarterback thereafter, Briscoe went on to earn two Super Bowl rings and became an All-Pro.

Briscoe retired in 1976 after nine NFL seasons and has since then moved to California to work as a financial broker. Today he is the director of the Boys and Girls Club in Long Beach, Calif.

Briscoe will be the first Nebraska-Omaha former player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts was inducted last year, representing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The induction ceremony will take place on Dec. 6 in New York City.


Briscoe made his debut for the Denver Broncos in 1968 and went on to break several rookie records.
Briscoe made his debut for the Denver Broncos in 1968 and went on to break several rookie records.


2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class

Marlin Briscoe – University of Nebraska-Omaha
Derrick Brooks- Florida State
Tom Cousineau – Ohio State
Randall Cunningham – UNLVf
Troy Davis – Iowa State
William Fuller – North Carolina
Bert Jones – LSU
Tim Krumrie – Wisconsin
Pat McInally – Harvard
Herb Orvis – Colorado
Bill Royce – Ashland
Mike Utley – Washington St.
Scott Woerner – Georgia
Rod Woodson – Purdue
Bill Bowes – New Hampshire
Frank Girardi – Lycoming


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