AP Photo/Richard Drew
1983 Heisman winner Mike RozierAmong the visitors who come to see the Heisman Trophy that Nebraska I-Back Mike Rozier won in 1983 is Rozier himself. After the announcement that he had won -- a foregone conclusion once Rozier became only the second player ever to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season -- the trophy went home to southern New Jersey.
It didn't go home with Rozier but with his mother Beatrice. In his acceptance speech at the Heisman banquet, Rozier asked his younger brother Guy, a Husker teammate, to come get the trophy and place it on their mother's table.
"That's for you," Mike Rozier said.
It is in her house still.
"If somebody calls me and asks me to bring the trophy," Rozier said, "I will go to my mother and ask, 'Mom, can I have the trophy?'"
Wait a minute. The name on the trophy is not Beatrice Rozier. It belongs to you, Mike.
"It's my mom!" Rozier said. "She's still my mom." He laughed. "It's out of respect. I'm a mama's boy. I love my dad [Garrison] to death, too. Our mother's got a little edge on our father. My dad worked two jobs when I was growing up. My mom was always home taking care of the kids. She kept me focused on going to school and doing the right thing."
The 1983 Heisman Trophy is finishing its 26th year in the living room of Roziers' parents. Guy Rozier, now an assistant athletic director for development at Nebraska, said Garrison and Beatrice Rozier have never taken that Heisman for granted.
"It's always been a focal point for them," Guy said of his parents. "It's not like any other trophy my brother has that collects dust. It's very special to them. They get new people coming by to see it almost every week -- a relative bringing a friend, someone from the church."
The Heisman may not have Beatrice's name on it. That doesn't matter.
"There's one of them in the country that has the name Rozier on it," Guy said. "There are a lot that say 'Mike.' They're pretty proud of it."
-- Ivan Maisel