Nebraska Walk On: Colin McDermott

The walk-on program is a proud tradition, but in order to get players to keep walking on the program must talk about rewards. And rewards come in a number of different forms. For Colin McDermott, he has been working hard the past four years and has that work ethic. Hard work is what is going to be expected of him and the other walk-ons and all he want is that shot to be a Husker.

The initial listing of Colin McDermott was at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds. However he is up 10 pounds now, as is his brother, to 235-pounds and has recorded a 4.71/40. Chalk it up to a lot of hard work, one less sport to participate in one more meal.

"They listed our weight from over the summer," McDermott said. "We went up there in the summer and didn't play any winter sports. Basically we've been getting our protein and eating the same.

"I actually switched up and started eating breakfast and that has helped a lot. During the season I lost about 10 pounds and I needed to drop some to have some speed, but I am gaining some size."

That size is the unknown variable with McDermott and his brother. Colin would be satisfied to stay at outside linebacker and is trying his hardest to stay at the position, but he is growing and should continue to grow in the program.

"They told me that it depends what happens there, but I am extremely happy that they have said outside linebacker so far. I have been running in track and doing everything else to try and make myself faster.

"I am playing lacrosse and that really helps you to open up the hips, to turn and the run. I am trying to stay there at outside linebacker. They did say that depending on the weight I put on that I could be a defensive end."

What else will get McDermott thinking is the likeness between he, his brother and a former defensive tackle from Nebraska that is also from Omaha (Nebr.) Creighton Prep. Their frames at this point in their lives are very similar.

"Kevin Luhrs that graduated from Creighton Prep played defensive tackle at Nebraska. My brother and I have about the same frame that he did coming out of high school. It could be interesting."

Another thing that might lend to McDermott moving down and potentially inside would be his aggressiveness. Colin will break you down physically and mentally through a game and then the plays just seem to come to him.

"I would just say toughness. I don't like to lose. For me, it always started with the guy that was across for me. It didn't matter what happened on the play. I would just wear down the guy in front of me, throw him around and then make plays from there. I like to hit a lot."

McDermott almost eclipsed the 100 tackle mark and hauled in some serious honors from his work on the field. His work in the class room, a 3.5 GPA and a 27 ACT, led to him receiving academic all-state honors for the second year in a row as well.

"I ended up with 97 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two pass deflections and I am not sure how many sacks. I was all-district again as a senior, all-metro, all-state in the Omaha World Herald and Super State by the Lincoln Journal Star. I was also academic all-state, again."

Colin and Conor McDermott had a lot of the same opportunities following their careers at Creighton Prep. They may never know what they could have actually received in terms of money from a school because both of them decided to shut down the process and walk on at Nebraska.

"We both had Iowa ask us to walk-on. We also had the same other schools looking at us like Nebraska-Omaha, Augustana, South Dakota State and others. Augustana, Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Hays State, Truman State and Emporia State were all talking about offering when we decided to walk on at Nebraska."

McDermott and his brother went on a trip the weekend before heading down to Lincoln. In Lincoln, the McDermott brothers got an understanding about what the possibilities are in Lincoln and what is to be expected of players in the walk on program. It was enough to get Colin to walk on at Nebraska and not to a Big 10 school.

"We had gone to Augustana one weekend and then to Nebraska two days later. Nebraska had somewhat changed their philosophies about walking on. Without that, I probably would have been walking on at Iowa.

"Nebraska changed it to a lot like what Iowa's thoughts were about the walk on program. It's if you walk on, work hard, want it and earn it then they will reward you. I have really only worked hard for four years to get better and better and when Nebraska made that switch that was really good.

"We sat in a room and we saw who played for Nebraska. It was really what we would be representing coming from Nebraska and walking on and what we would be playing for. After that, I decided that was where I wanted to go."

The dynamic that can not be overlooked is being an in-state player. Colin and his brother are very familiar with the tradition of Nebraska. When the two were on the field at a visit this past season it was an unforgettable experience.

"When I think about Nebraska, I think about the pass-back to Eric Crouch to beat Oklahoma and how sweet of a play that was. You think about the fans and the consecutive sell-out streak. When I went on the field for a game, it was unbelievable. It was overwhelming. It was awesome."

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