Like Father, Like Son

John Starkebaum was at Nebraska from 1970 to 1975 and was a three year letter winner from 1972-1974. During that run, Starkebaum also earned two national championships to go along with the three letters. His son, Colby Starkebaum, is walking on at Nebraska and is hoping to share in some of the same success that his father had while he was in Lincoln.

Colby Starkebaum has been a constant at Nebraska's summer camps the past few summers and this summer when he comes to Lincoln it will be for the next four to five years as opposed to days. Starkebaum, a 6-foot-2 and 205-pound linebacker from Sterling (Colo.) with 4.7/40 speed, is a natural at a game.

"I decided a little over a month ago to walk-on," Starkebaum said. "I have been to their camp every summer. Just lately, I went there about a month or so ago, and that is when I decided that was where I wanted to go.

"Coach Mike Ekeler and Coach Barney Cotton called me a few days before my visit and gave me the invite to walk on. I met with them on the visit and talked to Coach Ekeler.

"He really sat me down and told me what they wanted to do. Then, they got with me and really wanted to get the word from me whether or not I was planning on walking on at the end of the visit."

It didn't take a lot of time for Starkebaum to make up his mind on his decision. When Nebraska called him back, he told them of his decision and he got a short list of other names that were walking on.

"About a week later, I told them that I wanted in. They already had a list of the other walk-ons at that point and they were really fired up that I was going to be a Husker."

Colby is from Colorado and while it's not unheard of that an out of state player would walk-on at Nebraska, it's still rare. However, there is a unique relationship for Starkebaum, his dad and Nebraska.

"My dad, John, played for Nebraska. He was there from 1970 to 1975. He is originally from Haxton (Colo.). He was also a linebacker and was there with Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne."

The opportunity to play at Nebraska is very special for Starkebaum. Especially since his father's old head coach is now back at Nebraska as the A.D. Things have come full-circle to some extent.

"It means a lot. It's pretty cool just to be able to say that I am going to the same school he did. It's really cool that the A.D. now is my dad's old head coach. It will be cool to play in the same stadium and say that both me and my dad played there."

People know that there is no love loss between Nebraska and Colorado. Growing up in Colorado though a Husker fan had to have some difficult times and situations.

"I wouldn't say that people were ever mean about it. I have always worn my Nebraska gear since I was a kid. Obviously when they were struggling a couple of years ago I got some crap about it in Colorado. It comes with the territory."

Starkebaum is looking to play outside linebacker at Nebraska just like he has done in high school. Starkebaum picked up state and team awards for his play on defense and was the MVP on his team for offense.

"I will play outside backer. Coach Ekeler isn't sure if it will be WILL or BUCK. He said that they are looking at me to do both. I played SAM in high school.

"I had around 38 solo tackles, 77 assisted tackles for 115 total tackles, five sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception. I was honorable mention all-state.

"I got the Bone Crusher award on the team which is the combined tackles, sacks, interceptions and stuff like that. I got MVP for offense. I played running back. I was also a captain."


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