LINCOLN, Neb. - With Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins bolting for the NFL, senior Kevin Maurice is getting ready for an increased workload at the defensive tackle position.
"It's just a mentality," said Maurice. "I'm just preparing, trying to get better with technique, so hopefully later in the season I'm more consistent.
Down the stretch the former Florida prep showed he’s more than capable of being a starting defensive tackle in the Big Ten. Maurice finished 2015 with 21 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack, despite just one start. He logged a heavy load of snaps late in the year.
"It gave me a lot of confidence," said Maurice. "Confidence plays a big key in this game. When you have confidence, the sky is the limit."
Now a senior in the room, he knows it's his time to lead.
"It is crazy, looking around. It's just me and Greg (McMullen)," said Maurice. "We have a whole bunch of young cats that we are trying to bring along, but the good thing is about those guys is they want to learn."