Lincoln, NE - When Nebraska senior defensive tackle Terrence Moore walks off the field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, he admits it might take him a bit longer to find his way to the locker room.
"I might shed a tear or two walking off the field. Walking off the field in front of 80,000 it's going to be a sad day for me."
Moore is just one of 20 seniors who will complete their interesting career in Lincoln – careers filled with two head coaches, disappointing conference championship losses, and a move to a new conference.
"Every kid on this team means a lot to me. These guys have been with me now for four years, and it's never easy watching them leave," said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. "It's pretty emotional for them playing their last home game. You go through this every year, and it's never easy to say goodbye to guys but that's part of the deal. Like I said, it is always an emotional day."
It's also a group of seniors that featured the revival of the walk-on program in Nebraska. Guys like Mike Caputo and Tyler Legate started their careers with just a dream. Their dreams became reality.
"I think it is a testament to the players and how hard they've worked and developed. It speaks to the type of commitment they've given," said Pelini. "You go across the board and see a lot of guys who have contributed. Some of them have given up scholarship money and such, and it shows the type of young men they are. They believed in themselves, made a commitment and made the most of it.
"It's really important. Especially here, where we are geographically. It is an important part of our program and one that we have had success with."
Another key walk-on is safety Austin Cassidy, who will be making his 19th career start today - not bad for the Lincoln Southwest high school product.
"It means a lot. Walking around the stadium after lifting this morning, I saw kids warming up for the high school state championship and it feels like just yesterday that I was just getting started, and now I've come to the end," said Cassidy when reflecting about his career on Monday.
"I know the guys that came here with me and that are here for their fifth year have been through a lot. I've had three different position coaches, two head coaches, two defensive coordinators, two athletic directors, two different conferences, so I've seen a whole lot of change. Not much is the same around here from when we first got here. We stuck together, we stuck through it and it's going to be one of the most memorable things in my life to go out with those guys one more time."