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The rise of Luke McNitt

Nebraska senior fullback Luke McNitt (41) catches a pass during warm-ups for the Red-White spring game, April 15, 2017 (KHGI)

LINCOLN --- Luke McNitt's journey from a star high school quarterback to a starting fullback at Nebraska has had its fair share of twists.

The former Kearney Bearcat certainly showed he was ready to play big boy football prior to attending college.

McNitt signed his National Letter of Intent to stay at home and play for Darrell Morris' UNK Lopers. He got a chance to see the field early as a hybrid h–back, and eventually took some snaps as a quarterback late in the season.

Then he was ready to spread his wings and get out of Kearney, as he told NTV in an exclusive interview, July 9, 2014. He was getting looks from Wyoming and South Dakota State, among others. But he wanted more.

Destination: University of Nebraska.

“I was actually talking about that with a few of my buddies a few days ago, you know looking back," McNitt says. "The way I got here is kind of unorthodox, but early in that decision to do what I did I might have changed it, but looking back, the way I got here and how it has all come together, I definitely wouldn’t change a thing."

It's been a whirlwind six weeks for the Nebraska senior. He was named lifter of the year for 2016 at the end of July, following in the footsteps of the 2015 recipient, fullback Andy Janovich. He also went from walk–on to an official scholarship player when this school year started, although he did find out about it back in January.

"I just think he's a great worker, and he's a really good guy," said offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, in his third season.

Now, he's a scholarship player and a captain for the state's biggest program.

"I think that guys who work hard are usually looked at as leaders on the team," Langsdor says. "I wouldn't say he's overly vocal, but he'll speak up."

McNitt was quick to share the worthy recognition with his family.

“I called my dad first. He has always been the kind of person I call first in these situations. He is pretty proud and he said he could kind of see it coming. But my mom was right there on the phone to take it away from him pretty quick so she wasn’t far behind.”

The hopes he has proven his abilities to the coaches to see an increased role in the offense this year and not be so relied on strictly in the blocking game.

Nebraska and Arkansas State get it going Saturday, 7 p.m. LIVE on BTN.


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