Walk-on Chronicles: Jack Gangwish

Its stories like Jack Gangwish that makes football and football recruiting so great. A linebacker, Gangwish had a chance to go on and get a scholarship to play football in college. An opportunity though to come to Lincoln was just too good to pass up. It was a dream. It was also a chance to follow his father, Paul, who lettered at Nebraska.

Jack Gangwish is one of 15 players that have decided to walk-on at Nebraska. Like many of the other walk-ons he was serious about other schools until Nebraska asked him to walk-on. The opportunity to play for Nebraska was too much for this 6-foot-2 and 215-pound defensive end/linebacker from Wood Creek (Nebr.) to pass up.

"Nebraska called me and asked me to come on and visit," Gangwish said. "I knew at that point that they were serious. The weekend was the same weekend was going to visit Chadron State though and they were talking money.

"I had to set up a visit then to Nebraska during the week. Once I went out to Chadron and kind of saw what they had to offer I pretty much knew that I didn't want to go anywhere else other than Nebraska. After the visit on Wednesday to Nebraska I knew."

When Gangwish was presented the opportunity to walk-on at Nebraska it was a chance that he planned on snatching up. However, the money to play for another school was something that Gangwish had to consider.

"It had been a dream of mine for a very long time to play there. I always told myself that if I got the opportunity (to play at Nebraska) that I would jump on it immediately. But, when it was happening there were schools talking about money and I knew that there wasn't an opportunity for that immediately at Nebraska."

The visit really set things apart for Gangwish and why he should go to Nebraska over any other school. It was the facilities and the people. He was as impressed with everything about football as he was everything about the academics.

"On the visit, seeing everything that they have going on there, I knew that there was no way that I could turn it down. They have great facilities. The type of people there that they have there to help you out, not just with sports but also with academics, are second to none and I hadn't seen that at the other schools."

There were the things that Jack saw on his visit and there are things that he's heard about playing at Nebraska from his dad to also consider. Jack's father also walked on at Nebraska and lettered as a linebacker.

"My dad played at Nebraska and lettered in the 80s. When I was younger it was different because it was just my dad played for the Huskers and it was something that I wanted to do.

"As I got older he described the other things like playing on those teams, with those players and how much he liked the program and the people there. He really has respect for Tom Osborne and what kind of guy he is."

Gangwish played on both sides of the ball for Wood River, but is being recruited to play defense at Nebraska. He just isn't sure if he will be in a two point or a three point stance is all.

"I am not really sure. It's either going to be linebacker or defensive end and I would say that it looks more like I will be playing defensive end. I played middle linebacker and guard in high school.

"It's going to take some getting used to playing defensive end over linebacker. But, defensive ends do a lot more playing and a lot less thinking than linebackers. I would enjoy whatever I did. I think that I can be a good player either way."

Gangwish was an honorable mention all-state selection after finishing his senior season with 103 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. It was good enough to pick up one offer, some more attention and a chance to walk-on at Nebraska.

"I had a scholarship offer from Chadron State and a lot of schools like Doane and Concordia were talking to me and Kansas State contacted me pretty late in the process. I had committed to Nebraska before Kansas State contacted me."

Gangwish is getting ready to head into the state wrestling meet this coming week rated as the #1 guy in his class at his weight. He will get a chance to win that title this week and is thinking about another sport after wrestling.

"I am wrestling right now at 215-pounds. I am rated #1 in the coaches' poll in Class C. I am 33-2 or 35-2. The state meet is in a week. After wrestling, I will probably do track, but I have never done track before. The coaches would like me to do track though."

There is a good chance that growing up a farm kid has shaped Gangwish to think about agriculture for a career. He doesn't know if it immediately means being a farmer out of the gate, but somewhere down the road possibly.

"I live on a farm; I'm a farm kid, so I am thinking about agri-business. My dad has always told me that I should do something in the business side like sales and then coming back to farming after getting some experience. I have a 3.0 right now."

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