Huskers nab preferred walk on from Texas

It doesn't happen a lot for Nebraska to get a walk on from Texas, but Nebraska has been known far and wide for their walk-on program. This walk on though is special. If you read his football accomplishments you have to realize that Nebraska did a great job of getting him to leave the state and walk on.

Nebraska is known for their tradition in the walk on program. Many have myths and beliefs of illegal scholarships that are handed out, but all games aside it was one of the best tools in keeping Nebraska on top for so long. The walk on program seems to be returning to that form.

The Cornhuskers have been in contact with Patrick Kitzul about potentially walking on at Nebraska. The 6-foot-0, 190 pound receiver from Dripping Springs (Texas) has 4.5 speed and had his choice about where to take walk-on opportunities.

"We just got back from Nebraska and Tulsa this weekend. I just made my decision this weekend. I liked the trip a lot. It was an easy drive. I was really amazed by the campus and the facilities. It all really blew me out of the water."

"We stopped off at Tulsa on the way home. It didn't even compare to what Nebraska was offering. Once I saw Lincoln, I had made my mind up."

While Kitzul was in Lincoln he had a chance to visit with at least three coaches. He also had a chance to speak with the strength and conditioning coach, plus the team nutritionist.

"I spoke to Ted Gilmore and Coach Bill Callahan. I think that Coach Callahan had a meeting and couldn't talk that much. I spoke to Coach Heckendorf, because he was the one that really recruited me. We met with the strength coach, Coach Kennedy, and the nutritionist."

Besides getting a chance to see Lincoln, it was the first time that Kitzul had been to Nebraska. There were some questions about what they might be getting into coming into town, but having a chance to actually be there and check it out Kitzul was sold.

"That was my first time to Nebraska. When we were driving in it was pretty windy. There was dust and blowing and everything. When we got about 20 miles outside the city we started seeing a lot more trees and I know that once I was in the city I liked it."

"I know that for a college-town, I liked it. It was a this nice little town and the college is in the town so there is a lot of things to do. We were in Lincoln for a few days. We were just in town for one day and then we took the tour."

Before the trip up to Nebraska Kitzul didn't know anything about the town or the school for that matter beyond reputation. One of the things that he heard a lot about was the Nebraska fans.

"I didn't know too much about Nebraska before we went up there. I knew that they had been good in the past and it's a really good Big 12 school. I really didn't know what to expect from the campus when I got up there. I heard that the fans are amazing and my tour guide told me a lot about that."

Dripping Springs is one of the smallest schools in their district, a district that is called one of the toughest in 4A. Kitzul had an amazing year though and admitted that they probably should have done a little bit better.

"We went 5-5. We started off pretty solid, but we are in one of the toughest districts for football for 4A. Most of the schools in our district have more kids. We had four guys that are going to play college football this year. We had the material to do a lot better than what we did."

The 5-5 mark is one thing, but Kitzul did everything he could this year. He had 606 receiving yards with eight touchdowns and another touchdown coming on defense. Kitzul was first in Central Texas averaging 26.3 yards per catch. He earned first team all-state, all-CENTEX and Texas PrepXtra all central Texas Team in 4A.

"We tried to go play somewhere (division one). A lot of people thought that I was good enough to go play division one, but Texas State didn't really look at me and we were looking at TCU, but I couldn't get in. Basically we just started sending tape to schools outside of the state. Tulsa and Nebraska both got me admitted to their school. It was the Big 12. I went with Nebraska."

Kitzul was a two-time captain for Dripping Springs and led the team for the second straight year in touchdown receptions. That isn't surprising given what Kitzul says his strengths are. "Catching the ball is my biggest strength. People say that I have the best hands on the team. I can also get open. I guess that I need to work on my top-end speed."

Big Red Report welcomes Patrick and The Kitzul's to the Husker family!


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