Lester knew he wanted to be a Husker

The walk on program at Nebraska is not easily understood by people from outside the state or who aren't fans of the Cornhuskers. Players often times choose the opportunity to walk on over scholarships to other schools. Ben Lester didn't even care about the schools that sent him mail after he was given the chance to walk on.

Another in-state, Nebraska kid will get to chase his dream this fall. Ben Lester from Tecumseh (Nebr.), 5-foot-10 and 160-pounds, has made his decision to walk-on at Nebraska.

"It's just been something that I have wanted to do for a long time," Lester said. "Being around the sport of football and being raised under Nebraska football; getting that opportunity is bigger than an offer from other schools."

"It's an honor to play for Nebraska over another division one or smaller division two school. Much more of an honor. I didn't even hesitate once I got the chance to walk on. It feels much more important to be part of this football team then anything else."

Anything else included a lot of schools of varying competition levels. It didn't matter which school it was after Lester was given the chance to walk-on at Nebraska. He knew what he was going to do.

"When I was at camp this summer in Lincoln, I was told by Nebraska that they wanted me to walk-on. So, everything that I got from that point, all the way through the season and going back six or seven months, I haven't even replied to. I had my mind set."

"I had numerous division one and division two interest. I have a show box of information, letters that I received, asking me to come to camp, come to visit and I didn't even respond to it."

"I had a lot of interest from division two schools to Ivy League schools. All of the colleges that were in Nebraska really sent me a lot of mail and wanted me to do something. I never responded."

Lester attended the summer camp in Lincoln and had something to prove. He wanted to show that he could play receiver and needed to do it then because if it came to the season needing to convince Nebraska they would see Lester at not just receiver.

"I went up there and did strictly receiver, no defense, and I thought that I needed to prove to them that I could play receiver because when it came to the season I would be playing running back, quarterback and everything else."

"I went out and did that, they filmed me, and they asked me to walk-on. I didn't expect them to say it then. They stopped my parents as we were leaving and said that they wanted me there. They knew other teams were talking to me and they were saying I could earn a scholarship in a couple of years."

"I really didn't expect to hear that from them in the summer. I would have expected them to keep in touch with me and maybe after my season they might tell me that they want me to walk-on. It impressed me that they said it when they did."

Lester had a solid year for Tecumseh, but the year as a team was a bit disappointing. Tecumseh was winless due in large part to not a lot of returning experience.

"Wow, we went 0-8. We had three seniors with varsity experience and from there we were very young. It was a re-building experience. We had freshman playing for us that really didn't have any experience beyond junior high."

Lester still played well and led his team offensively. He picked up some very nice honors and really never left the field for Tecumseh this past season.

"I played quarterback and running back. I led the team in yards per carry with like nine (yards per carry). I was first team all-state, I think that Omaha had be honorable mention, and I was first team all-conference and all-district."

"Overall, I did about everything. I didn't have real good running back or receiver stats. I had 10 plays at quarterback, five at running back and five at receiver, so it was real spread out."

"I kicked it, I returned it, I threw it, I ran it and I caught it this season. I sat down with my coach to talk about things to put on my resume and he said, "Your grandpa (Milt Tenopir) is an offensive line coach and you can say that you played everything but center, guard and tackle."

Lester is putting his best foot forward with the opportunity to walk-on. As soon as he can get to Lincoln he will be there. He is going to start working out immediately with at least one other walk-on.

"I am actually going to start lifting and conditioning in Lincoln as soon as a I graduate. I will move out to Lincoln and work out. As a walk on I won't be able to participate in the weightlifting, but I can do seven on seven."

"Me and Austin Cassidy have talked about it and we are going to get together with the other walk-ons and go and lift at another facility. We are going to find a place to lift and get to know all the other walk ons."


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