Honors & Awards

  • 2003 Inductee, Nebraska Football Hall of Fame
  • Seven-Year NFL Veteran (Denver, New York Giants, Baltimore and Seattle
  • 1990 Butkus Award Semifinalist
  • 1990 Second-Team All-American
  • 1990 First-Team All-Big Eight
  • 1989 Second-Team All-Big Eight

1990 (Senior)
Croel was Nebraska's fifth-leading tackler with 61 in 1990, and was second on the squad to All-America tackle Kenny Walker in tackles for loss (12 for 64 yards), sacks (five for 40 yards) and quarterback hurries (12), and shared the team lead in fumbles caused with four.  A big-game player, the three biggest tackle games in his career were against the Huskers' three toughest opponents in 1990, 11 vs. Baylor, nine vs. Oklahoma and against No. 1 Colorado.  He was Nebraska's defensive player-of-the-week for his performance against Minnesota, when he had four tackles, and 11-yard sack, two pass breakup and a hurry, in leading a defensive effort that held the Gophers to eight first downs and 106 total yards, the best total-defense effort in the Big Eight in 1990. 

1989 (Junior)
Croel started every game at right outside linebacker, moving into Jeff Mills' old spot when Mills went to the left side to replace departed All-American Broderick Thomas.  Croel responded with an outstanding season, finished fourth on the team in tackles (49, 30 unassisted), second in tackles for loss (nine for 39 yards), and was third in sacks with four for 24 yards.  He also broke up four passes and had six hurries.  A second-team All-Big Eight selection by the Associated Press, United Press International and the conference coaches, he might well have been a first-team in a year in which the league wasn't as deep in talented outside linebackers.  Croel was named the Big Eight defensive player-of-the-week following the Utah game, in which he had five tackles (four unassisted), broke up two passes and returned an interception six yards for a TD that gave Nebraska a 21-13 lead over the Utes late in the first half.  He had a career-high eight tackles, including two sacks for 15 yards, a hurry and a pass breakup.  Against the Beavers, he led a defensive charge that held the visitors to minus-36 yards rushing, lowest on the season in the Big Eight and the third-lowest in Nebraska history.  He recorded the fourth blocked kick of his career when he blocked a Missouri punt out of the end zone for a safety.

1988 (Sophomore)
Mike played in every game as Mills' alternate, and finished with 22 total tackles, 15 of them unassisted.  He had two sacks for 13 yards lost and was credited with four hurries, but his most spectactular plays came on special teams when he blocked a team-high two punts, both of which resulted in Husker scores.  He twice had five tackles in a game and recorded three against Miami in the Orange Bowl.

1987 (Freshman)
Croel moved up to the varsity shortly after his arrival on campus and played in 10 of 11 regular-season games, plue the Fiesta Bowl vs. Florida State, mostly as the alternate behind Jeff Jamrog as right outside linebacker.  He finished with 10 tackles, including six unassisted and two for losses of 11 yards, and had a blocked kick.

At Lincoln-Sudbury High School
An all-state tight end for Coach Tom Lopez, he averaged 29 yards on 19 pass receptions and had three kick-return touchdowns.  He also led the team in tackles and had three blocked punts.  Croel was also the New England high school 100-meter dash champion.

The son of Phillip and Susanne Croel, Mike was born June 6, 1969 in Detroit, Mich.

Year G UT AT TT TFL Sacks C-R BK PBU PI Hry. Csd.
1987 10 6 4 10 2-11 1-10 0-0 1 0 0 0 0
1988 12 15 7 22 2-13 2-13 0-0 2 4 1 4 0
1989 11 30 19 49 9-39 4-24 0-0 1 4 1 6 1
1990 11 26 35 61 12-64 5-40 4-1 0 5 0 7 0
Totals 44 77 65 142 25-127 12-87 4-1 4 13 2 17 1