Ready for a shot

If the walk on program at Nebraska is dead don't tell Matt Donahue. Donahue, an athlete from Fremont (Nebr.) is one of the latest, publicly known walk-ons for Nebraska. The in-state product knows that he will be a Husker, but he doesn't know at which position. He has an idea at which position he might be able to make his mark sooner, but that all remains to be seen.

Matt Donahue is going to get his chance to be a Husker. The 6-foot-2 and 175-pound athlete from Fremont (Nebr.) with 4.51/40 speed made an impression at camp last summer and put up some good number this past year.

"Yeah, I am walking on at Nebraska," Donahue said. "I went to their camp last summer, put up some good numbers and wanted to be a Husker."

Donahue did put up solid numbers for Fremont last year. He had 40 catches for 905 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers, plus a good camp, he things was enough to get the coaches to notice him.

"I went for one day at camp and thought that I just worked out real well. I thought that my footwork was pretty good. I think that they started to notice me a little bit."

At the wide receiver position, Donahue believes that he has the ability to go and get the ball. He has a great vertical to go along with his already impressive speed.

"I think that going up and getting the ball is my biggest strength. Going up and getting the ball and my speed. I have a 37 inch vertical."

While Donahue talks about his abilities as a receiver, he can actually play on both sides of the football. "I got all-state by the Omaha World Herald and Super State by the Lincoln Journal Star as a defensive back. I got all-conference honors as well."

Donahue's versatility may be one of the reasons why getting Donahue to commit early to the idea to walk on was so important to Nebraska. The Cornhusker coaches actually see Donahue possibly playing on either side of the ball.

"Nebraska is actually recruiting me as an athlete. They don't care either way at which position I play, wide receiver or cornerback. I think that my best shot at playing is at the receiver position."

For most in-state kids from Nebraska, it's a dream to one day run out of the tunnel in Lincoln and play football for the Cornhuskers. Donahue has been asked a lot about the dream. Or is it a goal?

"A lot of people ask me that. They (Nebraska) asked me that. I kind of think it's more of a goal. I think that the goal is to play for them and that the dream is to be on the field playing for them."

Fremont plays in arguably the best Class A conference in the state with the Omaha and Lincoln teams. They hung tough in just about all of their contests and lost to the eventual state champion on a last second field goal.

"We went 4-6. We made it to the playoffs and lost in the first round to Lincoln Southwest. It was a close game. Every game we lost by a touchdown or less. Kearney beat us on a last second field goal."


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