Player Spotlight: Mike Shoff

Nebraska native Mike Shoff was an All-State performer at Sutton High School as a sophomore. He received an offer from the University of Iowa the following May. All set for a big junior showing at a new school, Cambridge High School, he sustained a knee injury during the summer which sidelined him for most of the year.


"I improved so much technique-wise," Mike Shoff said on his season. "At Sutton we didn't really have an offensive live coach, but at Cambridge there's an excellent O-line coach with a lot of experience I've been working with. It's been really good."

Cambridge used Shoff, 6-foot-6, 293-pounds, as a blocking tight end in a wishbone offense. He also played on the other side of the ball at defensive tackle making 15 tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles in just three games for the Trojans. With one major offer on the table, Shoff is hoping to go to camps this summer and impress his way into several more.

"I was at Nebraska's Junior Day and spring game," Shoff said, "and Kansas State's spring game. I'm planning on camping at both schools over the summer as well as Iowa."

Although it's no secret Shoff is high on the Cornhusker program, his interest in K-State escalated with a good visit for the spring game.

"I really liked it," Shoff said of Kansas State. "I've been to Nebraska so many times it was great to see another campus. They have amazing fan support, as does Nebraska, but Manhattan is about a third of the size of Lincoln. The facilities are great as is the coaching staff.

"I talked with Coach [Charlie] Dickey, the offensive line coach, and my recruiting coordinator, Coach [Del] Miller. They want to see me back at camp and look at some of my strong points. They want coachable kids, and I think I'm in that category."

After the football season ended, Shoff went on to go 41-0 in wrestling in the 285 weight classification and win state. He also took tops in state in the shot put and the discus. Shoff will now shift his focus to football camps and preparing for his senior season.

"I've been doing a lot of running and lifting by myself until the weight room opens back up," Shoff stated. "It's always been a goal of mine to make the Super State team as a senior.

"We went 10-1 last season with two great games with St. Patrick's [North Platte]. We'll both be good again next season, and hopefully we can come out on top this time with a state championship."

Cambridge, in Fumas County, plays in Nebraska's C2 classification. It sits in very close proximity to the Kansas border. It could turn into an old Big 12 North battle for Shoff's services with Iowa also weighing heavily in the mix.

"All the schools recruiting me have great football traditions," Shoff said. "They recruit the right players for their programs. It's hard to go wrong with any of them. I'm going to look mostly at academics, the prospects for early playing time, and my relationship with the coaching staff."

Shoff's father, also Mike Shoff, is a school principal. He was a walk-on at the University of Nebraska until injuries led him to Fort Hays State in Hays, Kansas. There he met his future wife, Chris Shoff, who played on the volleyball and basketball team. Her brother and Mike's uncle, Tom Sorensen, was a member of the U.S. Men's volleyball team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

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