But they probably ought to be recited here and now, because that funny old thing called the Heisman Trophy ballot will be going into the mails soon, and if Johnny Rodgers is not this season's leading candidate (if not, in fact, the only candidate) then most of the voters must be planning on writing in the names of their cousins.
Dwell on these numbers, if you will: In three seasons, or 33 games through last week, Rodgers has returned 99 punts for 1,564 yards; he has returned 33 kick-offs for 790 yards; he has caught 134 passes for 2,488 yards; he has rushed 124 times for another 688 yards, 5,530 yards in all, and he has scored 42 touchdowns.
If anything is going to harm Rodgers' chances for the Heisman, or any other award that will be given to the outstanding college player of 1972, it will be, quite unfortunately, his reputation. He is a guy who has had a knack for being, off the field, in the wrong place at the wrong time and a standing gag around the envious Big Eight is that the Nebraska police must really be nimble because they're the only people who have ever managed to catch him.
Today, Rodgers is a senior who credits football with "saving" him, who signs autographs by the dozens, and visits hospitals and schools trying to overcome his "bad kid" image. He has become a team leader, mature, outgoing, and apparently as inventive in his current private life as he is on kick returns, seeing as how he has become engaged to a Playboy secretary, a former "Miss Sepia."
"Sure, I'd like to win the Heisman," Rodgers says, "and I hope the fact that I blew it when I was younger doesn't go against me."
He says, "I'll tell you. Greg Pruitt and I have become friends. We call each other every Sunday after our games and kid around. He has a good chance. I'm hoping he wins if I don't, and he feels the same way."
Rodgers' past is not all that evil, despite the fact that Nebraska's opponents would have the world believe that he is a mini-Capone during the off-season.
It was in the spring of 1971 that his troubles began. It came to light that a year before, as a freshman, he had taken part in a service-station robbery. The publicity made Rodgers sound like a full-time stickup man whose ambition was to heist the Orange Bowl during a timeout. Actually the robbery occurred on the last day of school, 1970, a day when thousands of students were up to all kinds of pranks around Lincoln. The robbery had really begun as a prank, but it worked, much to the astonishment of Rodgers and his pals, and, oh, well, they kept the $90, seeing as how they had not been caught.
"It was wrong and I'm very lucky and grateful that all I got was probation," Rodgers says. "And the only way I can explain why we kept the money is that you have to be black and poor and young and dumb and think that $90 doesn't mean anything to a white man."
The next thing that happened to Rodgers was truly overblown. An automobile in which he was riding with a friend got stopped for speeding and the wonderful police announced to every newspaper in the Western world that Rodgers was being held under suspicion of possessing marijuana.