Honors & Awards
Corey McKeon (pronounced Mc-CUE-in) was among the leaders of the Blackshirt defense in each of his final three seasons. McKeon burst onto the scene at middle linebacker as a sophomore in 2005, and ranked among Nebraska’s top three tacklers in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after a breakout sophomore campaign in 2005, before adding honorable-mention All-Big 12 accolades in 2006.
A three-year letterman, McKeon appeared in 38 games during his career, including 35 starts in the past three years. He racked up 240 career tackles to finish 13th on NU's career tackles list, while his 36 career tackles for loss were just 1.5 TFL from the NU career top 10. McKeon’s 98 tackles in 2005 led the team, while his season totals each of the past two seasons ranked third on the squad.
As a senior, McKeon played in 12 games with 10 starts at the MIKE linebacker spot. He finished the year with 73 total tackles, including six tackles for loss and a sack. A solid pass defender, McKeon added six pass breakups and registered his fifth career interception at Wake Forest.
McKeon had four games in 2007 with nine or more tackles, the first of which came against Iowa State when he had nine stops. McKeon had 10 tackles against Oklahoma State, then had a season-high 14 stops against Texas A&M a week later. McKeon also had his only sack of the season against the Aggies. He added his third double-figure tackle game of the year with 10 stops, including seven solo tackles at Colorado.
A communication studies major, McKeon was one of 20 Huskers to earn their degrees in December of 2007.
His eight tackles for loss tied for fifth on the squad, and he added one sack, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. McKeon also forced one fumble and recovered another. McKeon’s play netted him honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors from the conference coaches.
McKeon opened the season with a pair of four-tackle efforts in victories over Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State. In NU’s win over Nicholls State, the Huskers did not allow a pass completion for the first time in 14 seasons, and McKeon had a tackle for loss and recovered a fumble.
The Husker linebackers excelled in a 28-10 loss at No. 4 USC, combining for 28 tackles, including nine by McKeon. He added four tackles in a 56-0 win over Troy, marking the Blackshirts’ first shutout since 2003.
In an overtime victory over Kansas in Lincoln, McKeon led the Huskers with nine tackles, while adding a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. He also forced a second-quarter fumble that stopped a Jayhawk drive at the Nebraska 2-yard line.
McKeon made six stops in a 28-14 victory at Iowa State, as the Huskers limited ISU to just 53 yards rushing. A week later, McKeon suffered an ankle injury and left Nebraska’s 21-3 victory at Kansas State in the third quarter. After the injury he played at less than full strength for the rest of the season.
Against Texas, McKeon made a pair of tackles despite his injury. He made his 21st straight start at Oklahoma State and recorded four tackles. The ankle injury forced him to miss Nebraska’s North Division victory over Missouri, but McKeon returned to action for the season’s final four games and finished on a strong note.
He made a pair of tackles for loss in two straight games against Texas A&M and Colorado. McKeon totaled six tackles in a 28-27 win over the Aggies, then had six tackles against Colorado, including his first sack of the season. One of his two tackles for loss against the Buffs also resulted in a third-quarter safety that gave Nebraska a 23-14 lead.
McKeon added his third nine-tackle game of the season in the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma. The Husker defense was outstanding in the contest, limiting Oklahoma 82 yards below its season rushing average.
McKeon capped his junior season with five tackles, including a tackle for loss and a fumble caused in the Cotton Bowl against Auburn. The Blackshirts limited Auburn to just 178 yards and 12 first downs in the game.
He finished 2005 with a team-high 98 tackles, including five double-figure efforts, and led the team with 22 tackles for loss. He added seven sacks, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and 11 quarterback hurries. McKeon had at least one tackle for loss in nine of 12 games, including eight contests with multiple stops behind the line.
McKeon’s tackles for loss total was a Nebraska linebacker record and the second-best total in school history. His seven sacks ranked second on the Husker linebacker season chart and were also second on the team. His play-making ability played a key part in Nebraska leading the nation with 50 sacks and 124 tackles for loss. The Blackshirt defense also ranked in the top 30 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense.
McKeon’s performance earned him postseason recognition. He was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by the Associated Press, Kansas City Star and Dallas Morning News, while the league’s coaches gave him honorable-mention accolades.
In his first career start, McKeon had 10 tackles, including three for loss, in the season-opening win over Maine. He also claimed his first career forced fumble while contributing one of Nebraska’s school-record tying 11 sacks. McKeon ran back an interception 30 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring in a 31-3 victory over Wake Forest, one of three NU defensive touchdowns in the game. Two games later he had another dominant performance in a double-overtime win over Iowa State, with 11 tackles, including nine solo stops, and five tackles for loss, setting a single-game Husker linebacker record. He added two sacks, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup against the Cyclones.
McKeon recorded his fourth double-digit tackle effort against Missouri with 10 stops and had two tackles for loss against the Tigers, one of which was an 18-yard sack. Against Kansas, McKeon had nine tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss. The sack resulted in a safety and was his seventh of the season, while McKeon also ended a Jayhawk scoring threat with his second-quarter interception. He added two more tackles for loss and his team-leading third interception of the season the following week against Kansas State. McKeon capped his sophomore season with 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss in a 32-28 Alamo Bowl victory over Michigan.
2004 (Redshirt Freshman)
Before Nebraska (Naperville North HS)
McKeon played five positions overall for North in his three seasons. He earned first-team all-state honors from the IHSA, the Illinois High School Coaches Association and the Illinois Gazette. He was a two-time all-conference and all-area pick, and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. McKeon also played basketball for Naperville North, which finished with a 24-7 record. He averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and earned all-area honors as a junior and all-conference accolades as a senior. McKeon chose Nebraska after visiting Purdue and Miami of Ohio.
Interceptions5-65-1 TD; 1-5 vs. Western Illinois, 2004; 1-30 (TD) vs. Wake Forest; 1-19 vs. Kansas, 1-0; vs. Kansas State, 2005; 1-11 vs. Wake Forest, 2007 Single-Game Highs:
Tackles14, vs. Texas A&M, 2007
Solo Tackles9 vs. Iowa State, vs. Michigan, 2005
Tackles for Loss5-23 vs. Iowa State, 2005 (school linebacker record)
Sacks2, vs. Wake Forest, vs. Iowa State, 2005
QB Hurries3 vs. Iowa State, 2005
Passes Broken Up2 vs. Kansas State, 2005