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Will Honas

Linebacker Will Honas recorded 96 tackles in 11 games this season for Butler (Kansas) Community College, before signing Dec. 21 with Nebraska.

RANDY SMITH, Butler CC Athletics

As Nebraska spring football approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 25 most intriguing players expected to participate.

Will Honas, linebacker, junior

Before Honas ever puts on a Nebraska helmet, we already know this: He isn't in Lincoln to watch from the sideline this season.

In his own understated manner, he's made that clear.

What's not understated about Honas is the fact he was the nation's top-ranked junior college inside linebacker by 247Sports in 2017-18.

That intriguing enough for you?

Thing is, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Honas may encounter ample competition for playing time. Nebraska has senior Dedrick Young, junior Mohamed Barry and young guns Avery Roberts, Pernell Jefferson and Andrew Ward. But everyone usually has a clean slate with a new coaching staff, and Husker linebackers didn't exactly dominate last season.

Bring on the competition. That's Honas' attitude. He has proved himself to be resilient. After all, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the first game of his senior season in 2015 at Bishop Carroll High in Wichita, Kansas, and recruiting interest from Power Five programs waned considerably.

So, he headed to Butler (Kansas) Community College on a mission to land a Power Five scholarship, and during a big sophomore season, his phone started buzzing again.

Asked why he chose Nebraska over finalists Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas State, Honas immediately mentions Barrett Ruud, the Huskers' inside linebackers coach who happens to be the school's all-time tackles leader.

Make no mistake, Honas was a significant recruiting score for Ruud, who is in the early stages of what likely will become an excellent coaching career.

In addition to playing for Ruud, Honas likes the idea of playing in the Big Ten.

"I mean, I think I can play in any conference," he said. "But I'm kind of a physical player. So I think the Big Ten style fits me."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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