In a spring game that included arguably some of the most intriguing storylines in recent memory for Husker fans, it was Boone Central alum Wyatt Mazour that stole the show.
A crowd of nearly 80,000 fans packed into Memorial Stadium for the annual spring practice finale. Much of the focus was on the quarterbacks, with three of the four on the roster participating in their first action as Huskers. They certainly lived up to the hype, combining for 62 completions, 693 yards and five scores on the day.
Aside from the signal callers, the Albion alum proved to be the story of the day. The sophomore entered the game hoping to battle for a spot in the team’s running back rotation. It may be safe to say after the game he more than got the attention of the coaches.
Mazour finished the day as both the leading rusher and receiver of the game for either team. Putting in work for both the white and red squads, he finished with six carries for 60 yards as well as six catches for 81 yards, totaling 141 yards on the day.
The performance from Mazour may have came as a shock to many fans on the day, but it was expected from the coaches. He nearly saw the field last season as a redshirt freshman until a concussion put him on the bench for the season. He returned from the injury this spring and was immediately expected to compete for a spot on special teams as a return specialist, but Saturday’s performance will likely get him on the field a bit more often.
In fact, his performance was simply the culmination of a strong spring from Mazour. He’s performed so well that he actually has earned his own nickname from head coach Mike Riley – Danny Woodhead. The comparisons between the two are endless. Both running backs came from small towns, where they were well-known locally for their talents.
However, neither garnered much for Division I football attention, mostly due to their small stature. What they lack in prototypical size, they make up for with speed and impressive quickness. Both also have a knack for doing everything well, whether it be running, receiving or protecting their quarterback. In fact, Mazour prides himself on being a complete back.
“I think I’m balanced. People see me and see my short stature, and they’re just ‘Oh he’s a little small so he’s going to try to make people miss.’ I think I demonstrated this spring that I can run through tackles and that I can block when I’m needed to. Honestly, it just drives me more,” he said.
While his impressive performance on Saturday was a great start, Mazour still must continue to battle to see the field. Once fall practice starts, he will be battling with returning backs Mikale Wilbon, Tre Bryant and Devine Ozigbo as well as incoming freshman Jaylin Bradley for playing time in the rotation. He also has history to fight, as the list of players that starred in the spring game only to never be heard from again is endless.
What he does have going for him is consistency. That consistency is what has continued to help him impress his coaches and make his case for nearly a year to see the field. If he continues his consistent rise as the season draws near again, Husker fans will see plenty of the pride of Albion, Nebraska on the field come Saturdays.