Chances are former Douglas County High School standout Mike Moudy will play a big role on Nebraska's offensive line this season.
“That's what I'm hoping for and what I'm going to be working toward to lock down that right guard spot,” said Moudy.
Moudy, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound senior, started last season alternating at left guard with Jack Cotton and then moved into the starting right guard position when All-American Spencer Long — who was drafted by the Washington Redskins this April — was injured in mid-October.
He started three games but suffered a shoulder injury in mid-November and was sidelined for the final four games.
“It is what it is,” said Moudy. “You are playing a sport and you might get hurt. You just accept that and move on. Because if you are playing scared or worried you are going to blow out a knee or shoulder, then you are going to get hurt. It's just best you put it on the back burner and don't think about it.”
Moudy was held out of spring practice this year to rehab his shoulder.
“It's completely healed and I finished with the rehab in early May,” he said. “We're getting after it and we're pretty much back to full strength now. I'm ready to put on pads again. … There's only one more go-around that I get to go through so I'm going to take advantage of every snap and make the most of it this season.”
Not participating in spring football has made Moudy, a six-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete and two-time academic All-Big 10 selection, a smarter player.
“I didn't get the physical aspect of spring practice but my mental game went up a lot,” explained Moudy. “I basically just sat down and got even more comfortable with the offense than I was last season. I improved on my mental game, which was good because I really needed that. I needed to be able to visualize the plays and everything that we are learning.
“I really didn't look at it as time off. I was still going to practice and getting mental reps on everything I needed to do there. I was not able to run the physical reps but I just took advantage of just getting stronger and working on my conditioning.”
Moudy had scholarship offers from several major college teams coming out of Douglas County but chose Nebraska where he knew it might take time to develop into a regular contributor on the offensive line.
He didn't see any game action as a redshirt freshman in 2011 and was a reserve guard in 2012 and played in three games.
“For everyone who goes here, you really don't expect to play your first one or two years,” he said. “You are hoping that will happen but sometimes the cards don't fall that way and you've got guys like Spencer Long who have a pretty solid hold on that spot.
“You just have to bide your time, work as hard as you can and hope you get that opportunity. Thankfully, mine came last year and I took advantage of it. It was good to get out on the field finally and see all the hard work paid off.”
Moudy, who has a cumulative 3.49 grade point average in English and is on track to get an undergraduate degree in December, hopes to get a chance to play in the NFL.
“Right now I'm not looking any further than this season,” he said. “Hopefully that will come up down the road if I just take each game day by day and work on techniques and fundamentals. Hopefully an NFL opportunity will present itself. If it does, I'll take advantage, if it doesn't I've got a great degree.”