One of the Nebraska elite for 2012

I can only imagine what is going through the minds of fellow 100 meter participants when they line up on the blocks with Sutton, Nebraska's Mike Shoff. There they are, probably anywhere from 5-8 to 6-2. And Mike? He's 6-6. On top of that he's 290 lbs. Yeah, that's what kind of athlete this Husker State sophomore is right now. Imagine what he'll be down the road.

At 6-6 and 290 lbs., there are a lot of sports or events within sports that you might stereotype Sutton High School's Mike Shoff.

Football is an obvious one, and when looking at track and field, the shot put and the discus make sense.

But not the 100 meter. Not the 200 meter.

No way he would do those.

Think again.

Not only does this enormous sophomore and yes, he's still just a sophomore, an eventual member of the class of 2012 - not only does he run those events usually reserved for slighter types, he runs them well.

Try an 11.9 in the 100 meter and 24.8 in the 200.

Just to remind you, he's 6-6 and 290 lbs.

Not typical to see, and as you would imagine Mike doesn't run those events quite like the others either. "I just stand up on the 100. I use the blocks for that, but I just come out and stand up and then go," he said. "And for the 200, I think I actually used the blocks once."

Over 350 pounds on the bench, around 450 pounds on the squat and a vertical which approaches 30 inches – yeah, you get the point.

If you want another idea of Shoff's athleticism, which has to be fairly unique, especially when you consider his age, you could look at how he does in other sports. In wrestling he's the defending state champ.

But when it comes to football, this is perhaps the most ridiculous example of just how athletic he is. Yes, maybe even more ridiculous than him running the 100 meter.

"Well, I had just gotten used to teams running away from wherever I was lined up. They did it all the time," Schoff said. "But about midway through the season our coach just put me at middle linebacker and said that wherever the play is going, just go."

That worked out just fine for Shoff's numbers, the Sutton standout recording two shy of a hundred tackles his sophomore season which included five sacks.

One would have to think that if Mike were playing 5A ball in Texas or 6A ball in Florida rather than C2 in Nebraska, he might have a few verbal offers already. It'd be hard not to see a school at least taking a hard look at a kid his size, who actually never comes off the field during a football game.

Offense, defense, special teams – this young man is between the hashes almost the entire contest.

He's even been a fullback for Sutton at times when they ran out of the Wishbone.

But schools are paying attention even if it's just a couple of the big ones as of right now.

"Right now the big schools are Nebraska and Iowa. Barney Cotton had came in to talk to my coach after the Spring Game, and last week Reese Morgan from Iowa came in to look at my film," Shoff said of the Husker and Hawkeye offensive line coaches, respectively.

It's not uncommon to see Iowa go into the Husker state and get a few of the standout athletes to head that short distance east to Iowa City. For Nebraska they could probably put that to a stop, at least when it came to Shoff.

When he heads to the Husker camp the second week of this June, that will be basically Shoff's audition to try and Impress the coaches even more than what they have been just from watching his film. If it works out and

Nebraska does offer, Shoff admits that, that would probably be it. "Yeah, I'd say ‘yes' right on the spot. You grow up in Nebraska, no matter who they are playing, from the good teams to the ones that aren't real good, you watch the games, no matter what," he said. "It's a dream of mine to play football there."

At his size there would be some debate as to what position he'd ultimately play. But Shoff would love it, should that offer come and he does become a Husker, if he could get a crack on the side of the ball he thinks he plays the best right now. "I'm probably the best right now on defense. I watch a lot of film on the position, I know what to do and I think I have good athleticism," he said. "it's what I would like to do, but honestly, if they wanted me to play tailback, I'd play that. I don't care."

Another stereotype or at least thought as to what is going through his own mind right now, concerns basically the build up to this camp. It is, after all, a way for him to show the Husker coaches what he can do running their drills so that they can evaluate him even better.

Nervous? Most kids would be. A little tension? Many would have it so thick you could cut it with a knife.

But not the savvy sophomore. Mentally, he's probably ahead there, too.

"I've been preparing for this camp for months, working out three hours a day. But I have been playing football my whole life," he said. "it's a sport I always kind of knew I wanted to play when I got older and realized I could play pretty well. So, I don't really feel any pressure. Football is kind of what I do."

As of right now Nebraska doesn't have a member of the Class of 2012. Not surprising as we are barely into the Class of 2011. Shoff wouldn't mind being the first person on that list. It's the dream thousands of kids in this state have every year. But it's one that a select few actually realize. He wouldn't mind at all being on that exclusive list. "You grow up here and it's what you want to do. It's all you think about if you football is your sport," he said. "I think that's what everyone tries for. Everyone wants to play for them. I know I do."

Big Red Report will keep you up to date, especially around Summer camp time and see how it goes with one of the best players in Nebraska for the Class of 2012.


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