Walk-on Chronicles: Anthony Ridder

If you see Anthony Ridder on film you might think that he has the tools to make an impact in Lincoln on offense. I mean, look at his stats. They really stand out on paper. Ask him though what he thinks about playing quarterback and he will tell you it was more of a job. Ask him what he wants to do in college and that is hit people.

Anthony Ridder and West Point (Nebr.) Central Catholic have had a lot of success this year. Ridder is coming off of a recent win at state for basketball that secured the state title for his school. That follows up a previous state championship in another sport.

"We won state," Ridder said. "It feels pretty awesome. That is our second one this year. We won the D-1 title in football so getting the title in football was pretty much icing on the cake."

Ridder said it took a little while for him to formally accept the opportunity to walk-on at Nebraska. He couldn't really put his finger on the exact dates of the offer and the acceptance.

"I don't remember exactly when Nebraska told me that I could walk-on. I would say that it was about a month before I actually accepted it. I accepted the offer a little while after the preferred walk-on weekend visit that they had for us."

Ridder's reasons for wanting to be a Husker start out with how the majority of the people do growing up in the state. He has some added incentives though to follow his dad and prove a bit of a point when it's all said and done.

"Well, who doesn't want to be a Husker? My dad played there and I want to try and do my best to play at that top level and see if I can do it. It's special to follow my dad. He walked-on and earned a scholarship his sophomore year. To try and repeat that cycle can show that you don't need to be some 5-star guy to make it."

Ridder is a standout on both sides of the football for Central Catholic, but he's had his heart on playing one side of the ball. Position is another big reason why Ridder decided to become a Cornhusker.

"I have been playing both sides of the ball all of my life and one of the reasons I chose Nebraska was because they were actually recruiting me to play defense. Wayne State wanted me as a quarterback, Augustana wanted me as a safety and Nebraska-Omaha wanted me as a linebacker.

"As a junior I played safety/linebacker, but this year I just played linebacker. With the move to eight man football there really wasn't a need for that second safety spot on defense."

It's simple for Ridder as to why he wanted to play defense. Ask him for a follow-up and he will tell you that offense to him wasn't necessarily as open to him to just going out there and making plays when it comes to the structure of an offense and playing quarterback.

"I just love to hit. I like to hit people. Offense and playing quarterback always felt more like a job to me and something that I had to do. On defense I could just go out there and play and have fun."

Ridder is staying busy going from football to basketball onto baseball. He will also be training to come to Nebraska in the early part of June for the bridge program.

"I am doing baseball. I am a pitcher and third baseman. It would be fun to do both in Lincoln, but I don't know if the baseball coaches in Lincoln even know that I exist. I will be doing the bridge program so I will be doing baseball and working out getting ready."

Ridder isn't exactly sure what he plans to do yet after he gets his degree, but by studying biology he will have his choice of some fine medical professions. "I am planning on majoring in biology, but I am not sure to do what. I am trying to feel that out still. I am thinking physical therapy or physicians' assistant. My GPA right now is a 3.48."

On the football field Ridder passed for more than 1,700 yards and 38 touchdowns. He added 800 yards and 20 touchdowns rushing. On defense he had 106 tackles.

Big Red Report Top Stories