Nebraska's only 5,000-yard passer, David Humm was the Huskers' quarterback in Bob Devaney's final season, 1972, and Tom Osborne's first two seasons, 1973 and 1974. Thirty years later, many of his school records still stand, including the trifecta of passing yards in a career (5,035), season (2,074) and game (297).
More information about Dave can be found here.
This interview with Dave was done by David Max on May 20th, 2004.
HM Who recruited you to Nebraska?
DH John Melton was my recruiter. When I got done with my senior year I wanted to go to UCLA. It was my choice because I was living in Las Vegas and the TV and everything. I started getting my calls around and then a man that worked at Caesar's Palace with my Dad called Bob Devaney and said there's this kid here and I got a call from Bob Devaney one night and he said that he and John Melton were in town and wanted to stop by and say hello to me and David, my Dad. And from that night on John was my recruiter. He was a very good one.
HM Why did you select Nebraska?
DH You know, my first recruiting trip was to Notre Dame. I flew into Chicago and got snowed in and couldn't fly into South Bend. Someone had to drive around the lake and pick me up in a car. I got to the dorm and they introduced me to the player that was my host. We couldn't get to Ara Parseghian until Sunday because the snow was so bad and then going back they had to drive me back to the airport in Chicago because South Bend was still closed. My next trip was to Lincoln and it was 70 degrees and this was in February. Bob Devaney told me "David, don't believe all these stories that you're going to hear about our weather. It's not really as bad as what they'll say." My trip was great. Just looking at the facility back there, the stadium, the city, the whole thing. Then I went to Alabama, UCLA came back in, went to Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas State, Lynn Dickey was my host. My first contact with any college was with Bob Devaney and John and they recruited my mom and dad as much as me and I would get home from a trip and my parents would say "How was your trip? Boy, that John Melton's so nice." My experience looking at every stadium, every facility and team it just came back that Nebraska was just a good fit.
HM Do you have a favorite Bob Devaney story?
DH One is that first night that we met when Bob and John came over to our home and we were sitting in the living room with my brother and two younger sisters and Mom and Dad. They were here for about three hours. Other than shaking my hand they really didn't talk to me. They recruited my Mom and Dad now that I look back. The second one is when Coach Devaney said he would be there my whole time at Nebraska and he retired after my junior year. He called me into the office and he said "David, you know I promised I would be here but I'm going to retire. I hope you're OK with that." I said "What? I'm going to tell you you can't retire." I said "No, what you've done for me and my family and the experience. You've done too much for me."
HM Do you have a favorite Tom Osborne story?
DH Tom, I think was 33 when he was our head coach and we were at practice one day and Tom was still (and still does to this day) doing his workouts and running wide receiver for the scout team and this is one of Tom's favorite stories too. He was running patterns for the wide receivers and I threw a ball to him that went through his hands and I told him "Coach Devaney would have caught that."
HM Who was your favorite receiver at Nebraska?
DH Johnny Rodgers called me the other day and said "Hummer, what's up?". I said "Who's this?" He said "This is the greatest player you ever played with!" And I said "Kenny Stabler, Jim Plunkett?" He said "No, no, no, it's Johnny" Johnny was my favorite receiver with his ability. He was tough in the huddle though. "Hummer, I'm open. Hummer, I'm open." I would say "Do me a favor and give me a break and let me get this play out and I'll look at you."
HM Did you have the ability to call plays or were they all sent in from the bench?
DH We called all our own plays. As a matter of fact, in my ten years in the NFL they didn't have all the speaker phones in the helmets and all the sign language. Tom was my offensive coordinator in my sophomore year and was offensive coordinator and head coach in my junior and senior year. We would call our own plays. We would go into our quarterback planning meetings and they would give us different scenarios of 1st and 10, 2nd and 10, etc. and you would have five or six plays for each situation and they you would call your offense which I loved doing because we were in and out of the huddle and you would get momentum and you're on a roll. Times have changed but with us we called all our own plays. With a time out or change of possession the coaches would say "Here's what we're going to change on this," but they pretty well left it up to us.
HM Would the coaches from the sky box send in plays?
DH Yes, they would send plays in. The coaches upstairs and Tom who was on the field and when we would come off the field on a change of possession we'd all get together and go "OK, remember in our scouting report on 1st down you're going to see 70% zone, on second you're going to see 50% man. Look at these plays. Here's what they're coming at us with that is different than what we showed you so here's what we want you to start looking at." They would send in plays every once in a while but we were in and out of the huddle so fast. Back then it wasn't where you did situation offenses where you have 3 and 4 wide receivers. We were basically the "I" formation and didn't bring in 5 or 6 guys with every play.
HM Is there a regular-season game that sticks out in your mind?
DH The Kansas game my senior year when I had 15 completions in a row. Matter of fact, we were killing them and we were done. All the starters came out and Coach Osborne called me over and said "David, go get your helmet. Go in there and throw this." I said "For what?" He said "Do me a favor and just go out there." So I went out there and threw it and came out. He came over and put his hand around me and said "You just broke the national record for consecutive completions." It kind of cracked me up because they were so aware of what was going on in that game that they thought about let's get this kid the deal.
HM What was your best bowl game memory?
DH Notre Dame. Beating them because I went to 12 years of Catholic school. Here is was my sophomore year playing against Ara Parseghian and their quarterback and a lot of people from my grammar school and high school and the church that I went to were so excited about the Notre Dame thing. I got a little heat from that from the people in my parish. Playing Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl and the mystique in their group and having been recruited by Ara Parseghian and the whole thing. It was Bob Devaneys last game and we knew it was going to be his last game. That was a pretty special time for me.
HM How was your career with the Raiders?
DH You know, I played football for 19 years and I had so much fun playing this game. My favorite line is in those 19 years I never walked into a locker room that I didn't see my stuff hanging up that I just was not in awe of what I was doing. The teams I played on. The coaches I played for. The players I played with. Two Super Bowls and the bowl games at Nebraska. It was a kick. Here I'm a kid that goes to 12 years of Catholic school and I go to Nebraska which is very conservative and then my first mini-camp with the Raiders I hadn't been exposed to people like that! You talk about that image and the whole thing and walking in there with Otis Sistrunk, Art Shell, Jack Tatum, Kenny Stabler, George Blanda, it was incredible. I played seven years with them and as a matter of fact Al Davis cut me three times and brought me back every time and playing in two Super Bowls with them. Then I played two years with the Colts when they were in Baltimore and one year for the Bills in Buffalo. So what's not to like about my career? I've got two Super Bowl rings and I played ten years in the League with some of the greatest players that have ever played the game. Matter of fact with all the jobs that I've had -- 'cause minimum wage my rookie year was $12,500, so I had to go to work. so Joe Namath recruited me to Alabama. Joe was my host down there. It was always kind of fun the jobs I've had after I finished playing when the PA system would say "Dave, Joe Namath on line two," and everyone would come running and say "Joe Namath!" All the players would call the office because I live in Las Vegas and the players all come here so it's the friendships that I've kept from all the years that I played.
HM Who was your favorite coach in the pros?
DH I played for John Madden, Tom Flores, Chuck Knox, Mike McCormick, and Frank Kush. Those were some great coaches. Probably my two best when you talk about coaching, coach me up, probable Tom Flores and Tom Osborne and I'd interchange either one. Just their ability, you play a game and you come in the next week and you review your films and they give you the game plan for the next week and you go "Man, where did they get this? Where did they come up with this?" Just their innovation week to week. In games I would say Tom Osborne and Tom Flores are the two best tacticians. The two best game planners. The two best in a game where they go "Here's what we expected and we're not getting it. Here's what we're going to do." And you go "Man, I like that!" You go back out and come back over and you go "That was pretty good!" So probably those two as far as the technical. As far as a guy that can motivate I've never run into anybody like John Madden. He could give pre-game speeches and halftime speeches and he would rip you at practice to the point that he was so good at it you would just go "Man, that was good!" He was one that could just light up a locker room and light up the guys. He could rip you and then put his arm around you and he was an incredible motivator bringing the team together. You can see it on TV with his humor. My rookie year we were 3-0 and we were going to play the Chiefs and they were 0-3 and we were like 30 point favorites. At halftime the Chiefs were beating us 42-0. Back in the Midwest in Kansas City it was hot and humid. That's when they had the chief on the horse and every time they scored this poor horse was doing laps around the field and by halftime this horse was so lathered up there was lather flying all over. The chief had his headpiece off to the side and we go into the locker room and Madden doesn't come in. Everyone was sitting around and we were doing our meetings in groups and right at the end of halftime Madden walks in and calls us all up. Usually he gives us a speech to fire us all up for the second half. He said "Men, you've got to stop them. You're killing their horse!" and he walked out. We're all sitting there looking around and knowing we're getting killed and know we shouldn't laugh. It was one of the funniest lines I have ever heard. We were sitting there in a game situation and he did that one liner, turned and walked out.
For an audio file of the above story click here.
HM What is your impression of Coach Callahan?
DH Let me tell you something. Bill was our line coach and then our head coach. This will be my 10th year doing the Raiders radio broadcasts where, when I could, I traveled and did the color, commuting back and forth, and the last seven years I've done the pre and post game shows. You look at his resume and his background and the collegiate career that he had and you look at his pro career. I know when he was our offensive line coach we went through so many combinations with injuries. Bill Callahan can flat out coach an offense. Husker fans are going to love this offense that he's bringing there. You want to talk about excitement. You want to talk about an offense. When I would watch the Raiders and the scheme that they're doing, if you're a quarterback you cannot be in a better offense than what Bill's going to bring. That's going to give him the ability to go out and recruit quarterbacks. You're going to have kids that want to go there as wide receivers. Even as backs. You look at the Charlie Garners and the receptions that they get. It's going to be a fun style of play and if you look at what Bill has done as far as communicating to Husker fans. I talked to Tony Davis the other day. I talked to our old kicker Rick Sanger the other day. Doug Dumler. You know what Bill's doing to integrate all the Husker legends and players. The door's open. He wants them at everything. Bill's plan and I think what you're going to see in this product on the field. I mean with all the events that lead up to it where since we're Nebraska and we just expect people to walk in the door and there were some questions when Bill came there but let me tell you something. The fans are going to love this guy.
HM Are you excited about Nebraska becoming more of a passing team?
DH I can't wait. 'Cause I know the offense that Bill's putting in there. Not only is it Bill but you look at the staff that he has built. You look at Jay Norvell and I don't have all the list of names but you look across the board and you see the quality of coaching, the quality of people. This is going to be a product on the field that everybody is going to be proud of. This guy can coach. He can communicate. He's from Indiana. He's a Midwest guy with Midwest values. Honest. Fair. The players have accepted him and I'm telling you when they get on that grease board and start putting these plays and schemes up, how can the kids not get excited? As a player my sophomore year we threw it a ton. Tom tried to put the option in with me. HA! You know. Not quite. My goal was to run fast enough to mess my hair up. I never reached it. Where it used to be on the board drop straight back Tom would say "David, I want you to take it down the line and then tap your feet then make a decision." I said "On WHAT?" He said "To run it or pitch it." I said "No, I'm not doing that." This offense is going to be exciting and they're going to win with it.
HM What are you doing now?
DH The last ten years I've been with the Raiders on their broadcasts. I also work for the Raiders. I sell their luxury suites. I sell all their advertising opportunities. All their advertising and promotions programs. All their corporate client stuff.
HM If someone wanted to inquire about that, would they call you?
DH My home phone number is in the book. It's 702-871-0410. My phone number has been in the book all my life. As a good backup quarterback you never knew if a job was coming open. You didn't want someone to miss you.
HM I'm sure there are Nebraska fans that are also Raider fans.
DH I'll tell you what. You talk about two great teams and two great fan bases. Nobody travels better than Nebraska fans and wherever we went as Raiders the lobby and the airport was full with fans meeting us. When I played with Baltimore and Buffalo we got through the lobby real quick.
HM Dave, thank you for taking the time for this interview.
DH If I had to do it all over again, pick where I went to school and where I was going to go, if somebody said would you go back to Nebraska I would be there by dark tonight. My experience with the university, the athletic program, the coaches, the people, the fans was an incredible experience. It's one I've never forgotten and I have friends that to this day are still in my life. My experience was incredible back there.