Zimmerer sees difference

One of the in-state commitments for Nebraska was able to make it to the game this past Saturday. C.J. Zimmerer, a standout for Omaha (Nebr.) Gross, has been to three of the first four games for Nebraska this season. He saw an obvious difference in the crowd's intensity on Saturday night. More than that, he saw a different level of effort from last year to this year.

C.J. Zimmerer was one of many recruits in the stands Saturday night at Nebraska. The fullback commitment from Omaha (Nebr.) Gross is close to Lincoln and has been to almost all of the games, but none as an official visitor.

"It was an unofficial visit," Zimmerer said. "It's really easy, obviously, just 45 minutes away. I have been to all of the games but one. I missed the second game."

With games against Western Michigan and New Mexico State under his belt, Zimmerer said that he could tell the difference in the crowd and the intensity from those games to the game against Virginia Tech.

"It was ten-times louder Saturday night. It was a big game. You could tell everyone knew that it was a big game. Even with the parking.

"I got there the same time before the game this last week as the other two and the place that I had parked was gone. It was a big night.

"The competition was great. It was a great game. It was a great game all the way down to the wire."

When a school brings in a visitor the school and the visitor hope for a win. While Saturday night wasn't a win, the effort did count for something.

"It's tough to say that, but it's easy to see the effort is there this year a lot more than it was last year. Last year we would have caved.

"They would get down and they would cave. They would have caved after Virginia Tech blocked that punt in the first three minutes.

"It was great seeing them fight back and be in it until the end, but a loss is a loss. It still hurts. Hopefully, you will see Nebraska come out on top a couple of times."

Zimmerer went on to say that although a lot of this year's players played last year that the level that they are playing at is visibly different. He has really noticed it.

"It is. I didn't get to go to any games last year, but I watched all of the games on TV. Seeing it last year and this year is like two different worlds it seems like.

"I really don't understand how it can just switch like that, but it really has. People are playing for someone they believe in and that really shows on the field.

"Even though it was a loss, you can tell that everyone fought until the death for that win Saturday night, but it just didn't go their way at the end."

Gross is off to a good start thanks in large part to Zimmerer's efforts. Zimmerer has been a standout on offense and defense so far this year.

"So far so good, we are 5-0. We had a big win against Skutt and Columbus. I am close to 750 yards rushing. I have 10 or 11 touchdowns so far.

"I have been playing linebacker too. It's either middle linebacker or strong side. I have been averaging seven to eight tackles a game on defense.

"I had a pick two weeks ago for a 30 yard return. I didn't score, but I got close. I got drug down from behind. It was close though."

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