Walk-on Chronicles: Murat Kuzu

It isn't often that you come across a high school player in Texas that would do about anything to go to Nebraska. Merat Kuzu isn't your typical Texas high school football player though. Son to parents born in Turkey, his brother and uncles all have roots with athletics in the state of Nebraska to some extent. Kuzu's dream has always been to strap on that helmet with the red "N" on the helmet.

Murat Kuzu isn't a name that screams football, but if you watch his film you see a serious player. At 5-foot-11 and 195-pounds Kuzu was a standout athlete at Plano (Texas).

"My name is Turkish," Kuzu said. "My parents were born there, but I was born in the United States. My name is pronounced MER-aht KOO-zoo. I hear it a lot of different ways."

Kuzu received a phone call from Nebraska giving him the option to walk-on. Kuzu wasted no time accepting the offer and signed an agreement with Nebraska this past Wednesday.

"I am walking on at Nebraska. I am a preferred walk-on. Coach Jeff Jamrog called me to let me know that I was. I was offered the opportunity a week and a half ago.

"I didn't know if it was official then, really, because I did have to do some applying and get accepted. I signed a gentlemen's agreement with Nebraska. It's a promise to enroll and not transfer."

Nebraska knows about Kuzu and Kuzu knows a little about the school and the state. Kuzu's father and his uncles all have athletic backgrounds that go back to various schools in the state of Nebraska.

"I sent my film up there and they got it, but ever since I was little I have watched Nebraska. My dad and two uncles lived up there. My dad coached soccer at Nebraska Wesleyan.

"I think that my dad was also the Lincoln East High School coach. Out of my two uncles, one wrestled for Nebraska and the other wrestled for Nebraska-Omaha. I grew up loving Nebraska."

With his family either working in Nebraska or going to school in Nebraska Kuzu grew up a Nebraska fan. He hasn't been to Nebraska in some time and is eyeing a visit to Nebraska once the weather improves.

"I grew up loving Nebraska. I am a big fan. Eric Crouch and Brandon Jackson are two of my favorite Huskers of all time. I might go up next weekend to meet the staff. The last time I was there was in 8th grade for summer camp."

When you see the film on Kuzu you could see him on offense or defense and you could see him at a variety of positions. Nebraska has singled one out for him that carries with it some irony.

"Coach Jeff Jamrog told me that they are recruiting me as a running back, but I could play a variety of positions. I am really being recruited as an athlete by Nebraska.

"I could play wildcat quarterback, slot receiver, running back, quarterback and safety possibly. When Rex Burkhead left Plano, he was the original wildcat, that is when I took over the role."

Kuzu admits that there is some irony there playing the same position and at the same school as Rex Burkhead who will be the starter next year at Nebraska. Kuzu knows and respects Burkhead, but never really knew him from school.

"It is a bit ironic, but I have always looked up to him as a player and a person. The last time I spoke to him was right as school ended before he was going to Nebraska.

"My cousin has spoken with him since he went to Nebraska. We really didn't cross paths. When he graduated from Plano was when I started high school."

There were opportunities for Kuzu to go on and play collegiate football on scholarship. However, once the opportunity came in for Kuzu to walk on at Nebraska it was over. Going to Nebraska has always been Kuzu's dream.

"I had a lot of offers from DII schools. I think that there was about 11 of them. They were either offering me or going to offer, but once Coach Jamrog called me I was taking that right away.

"It's been a dream of mine to play at Nebraska. I can't believe that I am going to have that chance. I can't believe that it's coming true. There wasn't an offer that I could have received that could have kept me from walking on at Nebraska."

Kuzu is as much a fan now as he has been his whole life of Nebraska. Kuzu says that he likes the current coaching staff at Nebraska and how they go about running the football.

"First of all, I think that Coach Bo Pelini is a great coach and I love the coaching staff as a whole. I have been watching every game since he's been there. They are very explosive and the way they run the ball is crazy."

There will be an opportunity for Kuzu to go to Nebraska this summer. Until then he will be working out getting ready to join the team in Lincoln. He plans on majoring in either sports medicine or physical therapy in Lincoln.

"I have been doing speed training called fast twitch and working out. I am going to head up to Nebraska prepared. I will be heading up there this summer. I plan on majoring in something with sports like sports medicine or physical therapy."

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