Honors & Awards

  • Drafted 1st Round by the Green Bay Packers (7th Overall)
  • 1971 First-Team All-American (Football News)
  • 1971 Second-Team All-American (AP)
  • 1971 Honorable Mention All-American (UPI)
  • 1971 Orange Bowl Most Outstanding Back
  • 1971 First-Team All-Big 8 (AP, UPI)
  • 1971 Nebraska Back-of-the-Week (Utah State, Missouri, Colorado, KansasState)
  • 1970 Honorable Mention All-American
  • 1970 Orange Bowl Most Outstanding Back
  • 1970 Second-Team All-Big 8 (UPI)
  • 1970 Honorable Mention All-Big 8 (AP)
  • 1970 Nebraska Back-of-the-Week (Wake Forest, Iowa State)
  • 1969 Honorable Mention All-Big 8 (AP)
  • 1969 Nebraska Back-of-the-Week (Minnesota, IowaState)
  • 1969 Big 8 Player-of-the-Week (Minnesota)

As of 2007 Tagge still holds the Nebraska record for highest completion percentage in a season. Tagge’s 1970 completion percentage of 63.03 (104 for 165) has held up over the past 37 years.

Tagge is also ranked third on the Nebraska career passing chart with 4,704 yards, trailing only Dave Humm and leader Zac Taylor

1971 (Senior)
Capped a tremendous career with a brilliant senior campaign. Tagge smashed all Nebraska passing and total offense records. Tagge gained All-America and All-Big 8 honors as a senior and was a repeat winner of the Outstanding Back of the Orange Bowl in Nebraska’s 38-6 win over Alabama for their second straight National Championship.

Tagge started the season off strong against Minnesota where he was 15 of 21 for 218 yards and had three touchdown passes to Johnny Rodgers. The Huskers remained undefeated in a 36-0 rout of Missouri; Tagge was 18 of 28 for 234 yards with one touchdown in the air and on the ground.

In game No. 10 against Kansas State Tagge blew up for 285 yards in the air on 20 of 28 passing. Tagge had three touchdowns in the air and ran for 24 yards, giving him a total offense figure of 309 yards for a new Nebraska record.

Tagge had another strong Orange Bowl as he was once again named Most Outstanding Bowl Back. Tagge was 11 of 19 for 159 in the air and led the Huskers to their second straight National Championship over national power Alabama.

1970 (Junior)
Husker passing leader for the season going 116 of 190 for 1,536 yards and record 12 TD’s. Tagge broke career passing and total offense records. Set a Nebraska total offense record in 1970 with 1,689 yards.

In the second game of the season against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum the Huskers came in as two-touchdown underdogs. The Huskers didn’t come out with a win but they didn’t lose either as the epic battle ended in a 21-21 tie. Tagge led the Huskers to a 14-7 halftime lead after he hit Johnny Rodgers on a 15-yard pass. On the day Tagge was 11 of 17 for 140 yards and one touchdown. Tagge added two more touchdown passes of 43 and 26 yards to Rodgers the next week in a 28-0 win against Army.

Tagge would be out for a few games and then return in game No. 8 against IowaState. Tagge would have his great game in his return going 18 of 27 for 223 yards two touchdowns and would also score one rushing touchdown.

Tagge continued his brilliant season in the Orange Bowl against LSU. Tagge hit 12 of 15 passes for 153 yards, ran tough, and directed the Huskers in expert fashion. Trailing 12-10 as the fourth quarter opened, Coach Bob Devaneny’s Huskers passed and ran over and through the defensive titans of the nation for the winning touchdown. With 6:10 gone in the final quarter Tagge clinched the Most Valuable Back Trophy and the Huskers’ first National Championship by plunging over from the one and then extending his arms high over the pile to score the go ahead touchdown.

1969 (Sophomore)
Despite sharing quarterback duties with Van Brownson, Tagge turned in a brilliant sophomore season. Tagge set a Nebraska total offense record with 1,544 yards and also set a passing accuracy record with a percentage of .571. On the season Tagge hit 107 passes on 189 attempts for 1,355 yards and four touchdowns.

In Tagge’s first start of the year against Minnesota he set a new Nebraska record with 301 yards of total offense. At the time Tagge was only the sixth player in Big 8 history to pass the 300 mark. On the day Tagge was 15 of 23 for 219 yards, ran for 82 yards and tossed TD’s of 38 and 42 yards. On the final drive of the game Tagge hit 5 of 6 passes for 81 yards on a game-breaking 99-yard drive.

In Tagge’s other big game of the year against Iowa State, Tagge came off the bench to hit eight straight passes in relief of Brownson. Tagge led Nebraska to 10 points in the third quarter and for the game he was 9 of 12 for 93 yards and one touchdown. Nebraska would go on to win 17-3.

Before Nebraska (Green Bay West)
All-State and All-America prep honors in football and basketball. Tagge’s football coach in high school was Jerry Deffek.

Social Sciences Major at Nebraska in the Teachers College. Parents are Mr. and Mrs. William R. Tagge, Sr.


Year Att. Cmp. Int. Pct. Yds. TDs
1969 189 107 8 .571 1,355 3
1970 190 116 8 .611 1,536 12
1971 258 154 4 .597 2,178 17
Totals 637 377 20 .592 5,069 32


Year No. Yards Avg. Rushing TDs
1969 83 189 2.2 4
1970 85 153 1.8 N/A
1971 112 330 2.9 9
Totals 280 672 2.4 13