Nebraska never pursued in-state star Danny Woodhead, who dominated the Division II college football world at Chadron State. Luckily, Mike Riley and the Huskers may have a do-it-all back in Wyatt Mazour.
The sophomore from Albion earned the "Danny Woodhead" nickname from Riley in the spring and led the White offense with four catches for 78 yards, while adding two carries for 4 yards.
Switching to the Red team in the second half, Mazour led that offense with 57 yards on four carries and a touchdown.
“It was busy today, but I'm glad,” Mazour said. “After last season and spending most of the season just watching, it was really hard for me. It was really nice to get out their with my brothers and show what I got.”
Mazour moved up on the depth chart last season, expecting to travel to Indiana and play on the special teams unit before a concussion in practice caused him to miss the trip and eventually ended his season.
The extra time allowed Mazour to hit the weight room, jumping from 180 pounds to 196 at the beginning of spring practice, and allowed him to focus mentally.
“I was a little more patient and was able to adapt to the speed and make my reads on the go. I had a lot of open field to work with, and that was nice.”
Mazour highlighted his first half with 78 receiving yards, including a long of 26 yards on a pass from Tristan Gebbia.
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After Riley finished his interview at the podium, the coach said “Oh, my gosh, look at that guy. Nice job, Wyatt,” as Mazour was surrounded by reporters.
Even with the high praise from the head coach, the former Boone Central quarterback was critical of his game, grading himself a B-plus with plenty of room to improve.
Mazour marked a catch where he missed a chance to go outside and gain an extra six feet, and a couple of runs he felt he could have made a tackler or two miss.
The sophomore also showed poise in the backfield, standing tall for some key blocks to give his quarterbacks time in the pocket. One of Mazour's key moments was picking up a blitzer to buy Gebbia some extra time to find Brenden Hohenstein for 20 yards down field on the white team's first drive of the second half.
“Last year I was really struggling with pass blocking because I have never done it,” Mazour said. “When I first got here, that was the first time I ever had to work on my technique and moving my feet. It was a whole different game.
“This year I went into it just thinking I am playing basketball and guarding a guy, which has helped me so much more to improve that part of my game.”
Mazour made a strong case for playing time no matter where he went on the field, even joking about going back to his high school days as a quarterback.
“I mean I'm up for it, I'm up for anything that gets me out on the field,” Mazour said. “I feel like I'm pretty dynamic and whatever gets me out on the field I would be happy to do for them.”