October 26, 2003

The Mike Huff story

Nebraska Cornhusker fans know that the offensive line needs some help for now and for sure, in the future. Ralston's Mike Huff might be one of the more misunderstood commitments so far this recruiting year. Mike Huff did not have all the glamorous scholarship offers as some of the others, but after talking to his coach, Tyler Zahn, and Mike today, it is evident Nebraska is not just getting a big kid with strength.

One ideal attribute to have in an offensive lineman is having him being aggressive all the time on the field - an under control 'attitude'.

So what type of player do we have with Mike Huff?

His coach told us things like: "pretty powerful run blocker", "could dominate", "extremely strong", "great player", "has the desire and drive".

Let's follow along with what Mike thinks.

Quick question - most offensive lineman are passive. Is he aggressive or more of a passive offensive lineman?

"Aggressive!," he said with a very quick response.

It didn't take long for Mike Huff to make up his mind after finding out about the offer..

"He (coach Solich) called my coach on Friday (to extend a formal offer). I went home that night and discussed it with my parents and the next day I made a decision. Once he submitted the offer, I was 90 percent sure and had to go home and talk to my parents. Then after that I was ready to be a Husker."

Excited about it?

"Yes, I'm extremely excited!"

Redshirt his first year?

"They said that I have the physical tools to come in and make an impact right away. I'll have to see what happens when I go there."

Mike Huff has been a Nebraska Cornhusker fan …since almost birth. He is different than some others.

So what will he be bringing to the table at Nebraska? One thing is that he has an immediate vested interest in seeing the program succeed.

What would he like to tell the Husker fans right now?

"I would just tell them I was going to work hard and do my best."

Mike Huff has a steady work ethic, which will make it that much simpler when he gets to Lincoln.

"I'm in there (weight room) every day. There is a thing that I don't feel right if I don't get my lift in every day."

During the season he lifts three days a week and during the off-season it is Monday - Friday…for two hours per session. His team follows a similar lift program as the Husker weight training program, so his transition should be easier than most.

Correction on his maximum squat lift: "I squat 500 pounds." He has bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times. He has not done the Nike 185 pound reps yet, but "I could do a lot."

"I wouldn't know until I did it, but I would think I would be over 30 times." With 225 pounds at 23 times….that would seem to be logical. Both figures are outstanding….and his squat lift is in the top 20% of all the offensive linemen in the Rivals.com database. His top bench (395 pounds) puts him in the top five percent. Strength is there.

His best 40-yard dash time was a "5.3 or 5.4" (electronic) at a Nebraska camp and his best hand held time is in the 5.18 range, which puts him in the mid-point for all offensive linemen.

Next - how about his footwork? He has played basketball every year, which would help his footwork.

"A lot of people tell me I move around pretty good for a big man. That is one of the things that coach Solich and coach Cotton talked to me about. How I moved around for a big man and how my feet work."

How about that basketball play?

"I was pretty much the enforcer on the team. I got in there and banged around there with the big men."

His team doesn't keep track of pancakes, but they give out awards for his play at offensive tackle and defensive tackle.

He has "up to like 55" stars for his offensive play and "around 15" skull and crossbones for his defensive play. He believes that he has approximately 60 tackles in their 4-4 season so far and that is after: "They run away from me."

He rarely comes off the field. His passion and life are on the football field. That is made quite clear.

"I'd say I'm pretty aggressive football player. I love the game. I live for the game. I live, eat and sleep the game. I go into a depression mode after the season, because I realize that football is over for another six or seven months." He does the weight lifting during the off-season, but "you miss hitting everybody."

He really likes football…all right!

"That is the fun part of the game…pulling and getting somebody and hitting them."

Iowa had not offered yet, but they were close to offering him, along with Iowa State, Colorado State and Kansas.

In fact, Kansas wanted him to make an official visit. They promised him a scholarship offer, when he went to the visit. That visit will not be made. His only official visit will be to Nebraska.

He has had the chance to see a few college facilities and one stood out.

"I saw Iowa and Iowa State and they don't compare to the Nebraska facilities."

Side Notes:
Mike's friends call him "Huff".
He likes all foods, except Chinese food.
His family is very athletic. He has an aunt that is into sports at Ralston. His cousin, Katie, is active in sports and his sister, Kelly, pitches softball in college now.

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