LINCOLN, Neb. — It was 2001 the last time Nebraska football had three in-state captains. Sixteen years later, the Nebraskans are representing big once again.
Jerald Foster (Lincoln Southeast), Luke McNitt (Kearney) and Chris Weber (Elkhorn) are the three in-state representatives. They are joined by out-of-staters Tanner Lee and Joshua Kalu.
It was a simple enough announcement. After a team vote, coach Mike Riley brought the entire team into the meeting room and ran down the list. Foster was relieved to be one of the first names called, eliminating the added stress of waiting.
Beyond that, Foster remembers just feeling happy.
“It was definitely a great experience sitting in [the meeting room] with my team and getting the congratulations and the guys giving us a hand for what they gave us pretty much,” Foster said. “I’m just happy that my guys entrusted such a big role on me and the other four.”
Like Foster, junior linebacker Luke Gifford is also a product of Lincoln Southeast. When he heard the list of captains, he was more than pleased. He even called it a “no-brainer,” having voted for those that were named.
As for Foster specifically, Gifford has now seen him on the field both in high school and in college. For that reason, Gifford is more than confident in what Foster will bring as a captain.
“Just the way that dude works and the way he goes about practice, he’s just got a nasty, physically tough way about him,” Gifford said. “The way he plays is just someone that you want to lead your team. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he was voted captain. I voted for him. He’s exactly who you want to lead out there.”
As for McNitt, the news he had been named captain didn’t come as a surprise either. In fact, his dad may have been the least surprised of all.
After all, McNitt’s journey to Nebraska and on the team hasn’t been conventional. While a fullback for the Huskers, McNitt started as a quarterback at Nebraska-Kearney. After his freshman season with the Lopers, McNitt opted to transfer to the Huskers as a walk-on.
Now a senior, McNitt has found a role in Nebraska’s offense. That’s why it wasn’t too shocking to McNitt or his dad that his teammates elected him one of the Huskers’ five captains for 2017.
“You could kind of see with the offseason,” McNitt said. “The offseason I was elected one of the captains for lifting. The way my career has went, [my dad] said he had a feeling about it and I guess he was right.”
When Gifford thinks about the three in-state captains, he smiles. As a Nebraska kid himself, he likes what the inclusion of Weber, McNitt and Foster says about Nebraska athletes.
“We know we get downplayed every once in awhile for being from Nebraska but we can all play,” Gifford said. “You get here and it happens a lot, there’s always some Nebraska guys that end up playing a lot in their careers that no one thought would.
“It’s pretty exciting. It’s not surprising for us at all. We’ve always known what kind of players they are.”
The post Nebraska football: 3 in-state players help lead the charge as captains appeared first on Land of 10.
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