Offense OR Defense?

Mike Shoff is a name that many thought by now could have had a Nebraska offer and possibly been part of the 2012 recruiting class for Nebraska. Fate it seems has a weird way of getting in the path of thoughts like that. Shoff ended up suffering a knee injury before summer camp last year, but is back to full strength. What is he up to and what are his thoughts on recruiting?

Mike Shoff has had an amazing wrestling career. After having transferred this past year from Sutton (Nebr.) to Cambridge (Nebr.) he has repeated as the state champion in his weight and class.

"I won state," Shoff said. "It feels good to get that second state title. I finished the year 41-0. As a sophomore I was 36-0. When I was a freshman I lost 2-1 in overtime in the state finals. That is my only loss in my high school career."

Shoff really scoffs at the idea of wrestling in college. It's something that he enjoys doing now, and he's very good at it, but his heart is on the grid iron and he would like to play football in college.

"No, not really because I just really want to play football in college. I have gotten some attention to possibly wrestle. A few schools like Lehigh and South Dakota State have all contacted me about wrestling in college. My heart is in football though."

Besides seeing an overall dominant performance at state wrestling there is something else to take away from Shoff's performance and that is about his knee. He is clearly healthy and says that in the long run the injury and the rehab might pay off.

"My knee is 100% healthy. I think that it's better than it's ever been before. I jump higher, I run faster and I am stronger as a result; so I am better in the long run.

"I did have to have surgery as a result of the injury. It was just a lot of meniscus issues that we had to get cleared up. It's good though. This will all work out for the best."

When most guys that are 6-foot-6 and 280-pounds say that they do "track" it's really that they do "field". Well, Shoff does both. He will throw the shot and the discus this year, but it's likely that he will find his way onto the 4x100m relay team as well.

"I will go to track now. I do shot, discus and when I was at Sutton I was on the 4x100m relay team. I was actually the anchor. I was the fastest kid in my school at Sutton. At Cambridge I am probably third or fourth (fastest).

"It's possible that I could run the second or the third leg on the relay team at Cambridge. I am hoping that I can. My fastest straight 100m was my freshman year and it was 11.8 and my split last year was 11.4.

"Last year I qualified for state shot. I had one of the top ten throws in the state. I just kind of choked at districts. Then I went onto state and really choked again. I have started working on it already a couple of weeks ago. I want to win state in shot and discus this year."

Shoff will be in Lincoln this Saturday for junior day. He says that he's gotten a lot of exposure and has been in communication a lot with Nebraska over the past year or so. Still, he would like to continue to build the relationship between and the coaching staff in Lincoln.

"I will be at the junior day at Nebraska this coming Saturday. I have a really good jump on this recruiting process, but what I really need to do now is build a relationship with those guys in Lincoln.

"I have started to do that process with Barney Cotton who is my main recruiter. He's a good guy and I would like to play for him in the future. I would still like to get there to meet all of the other coaches and find out what they are all about."

Shoff had seemed pretty set on playing defense in college and ask him now which he is better at and he will answer defense. But, he did say that it's possible that his future might be on offense and it's possible that Nebraska might like him the most as an offensive lineman.

"Well, I don't know. I think that Nebraska wants me to play offensive line and I am fine with that. I have spoken with Coach John Papuchis about it this past summer and he said that they hadn't decided for sure which side of the ball that they like me on the most.

"I think that I am better on the defensive line right now in high school because of my strength and quickness. I think that is due in part to playing in the smallest class in Nebraska and sometimes I do struggle with leverage.

"I just don't feel like I am better at offense than I am at defense right now in high school, but I am not sure really how that translates to the college game and if I have better potential on offense than on defense."

Besides junior day, Shoff is looking at getting back to Lincoln for summer camp and will also take a one day trip to Iowa as well. After that he is looking at a couple of other schools for possible camps.

"I will attend the summer camp in Lincoln, I am not sure which session, but I will go to that for sure. I will also go to the one day camp over in Iowa as well. I am thinking maybe Kansas or Kansas State camp too this summer."

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