LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Long an after-thought when it comes to Nebraska's quarterback depth chart, Ron Kellogg III finally got his turn in the spotlight, and did he ever shine.
Kellogg still seemed overwhelmed Monday, two days after he threw the desperation pass from midfield that was tipped and landed in Jordan Westerkamp's hands with no time left to beat Northwestern.
Congratulatory tweets came from, among others, actress-model Gabrielle Union and comedian Larry the Cable Guy. He and Westerkamp were stars of the weekend highlight shows. A horde of media waited for Kellogg at the team's weekly availability.
"I couldn't believe we actually made the play," he said. "Not too many people say they can accomplish a Hail Mary for a game-winning touchdown. I'm still in awe."
Few would have predicted that, after four-plus seasons spent mostly on the sidelines, Kellogg would be involved in a moment that goes down as one of the most memorable in the 90-year history of Memorial Stadium.
"Just proves that every other walk-on who's on this team can have their number called at an important time," he said, "and that's something you should never doubt yourself about."
Kellogg said his only full scholarship offer when he was coming out of Westside High in Omaha in 2009 was from South Dakota State from the Football Championship Subdivision. He chose to walk on at Nebraska because of the school's academic program and the fact his parents were so impressed with Tom Osborne, the coaching great who was athletic director at the time.
Coach Bo Pelini put Kellogg on scholarship for the first time this year. He's never been a serious contender for the starter's job that Taylor Martinez has owned since 2010. Kellogg redshirted in 2009 and didn't get into a game the next two seasons. He threw a total of 11 passes in four mop-up appearances last year.
When Martinez got hurt in September, the coaching staff decided to go with redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. and have Kellogg rotate in every few series. After Armstrong threw three interceptions Saturday, there was no hesitation to turn to Kellogg for the final 1:14.
"Tommy struggled a little bit, and there were some things that were taking place coverage-wise," offensive coordinator Tim Beck said. "I was concerned going into this two-minute drill that these guys had shown a variety of different coverages, and I wanted to go with the more veteran quarterback at that point."
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