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A look at Brett Maher's success with the Huskers
If Penn State is Linebacker U and USC is tailback U then Nebraska is Kicker U. The Huskers have a rich tradition in both kickers and punters and the man currently in both spots in the royal bloodline is Kearney's own Brett Maher.
The awards are seemingly endless: 5 time Big Ten special teams player of the week, 2011 Big Ten punter of the year, amd 2011 Big Ten kicker of the year, just to name a few.
In just two seasons as Nebraska's kicker and punter, Brett Maher has been quite successful, but the accolades didn't come easily. After turning down scholarship offers from Ohio and Colorado State, Maher decided to walk on at Nebraska and try to win a spot in 2008 and ended up redshirting his first year in Lincoln.
"I think it was good for me. I think it's good for a lot of people to kind of get acclimated to college and the different atmosphere and the different things that you go through," said Maher.
After his redshirt year, Maher spent another two years in the shadow of the most accurate kicker in NCAA history: Alex Henery.
"I learned a lot from him. Kind of just how to go about stuff everyday, practice. How to practice enough, but still make sure you have a fresh leg. And just kind of how he controlled himself with the media and talking to people and interacting, giving back to the community," said Maher.
Finally, after three years of waiting Maher was then entrusted with the duties of taking over for a legend.
"Yeah, I just tried to make it my own, just do my own thing and not necessarily worry about the success that he had. Because, obviously, no one had had that much success," said Maher.
"After two years it was gosh, could he punt or maybe kick or kick off? Could he do one of those three things? Now he's doing all three. It's just been a pretty neat evolution through those five years," said Brett's dad Brian Maher.
Right from the get go it was evident that Nebraska's kicking game was in good hands. Maher connected on four field goals in his first start against Chattanooga on his way to 19 of 23 in 2011.
"I just had my mind focused on making my next kick and executing my next punt. And wherever that was going to take me I can promise you I never went out on the field and plan on missing a kick," Maher said.
"What I go through, probably what Peg goes through, during the game, is unhealthy," said Brett's dad Brian Maher.
And although his time at Nebraska is coming to and end his future seems as bright as ever.
"I graduate in May with a Math Education degree. So, play football as long as I can and after that be a high school math teacher," Maher said.
"It's so rewarding when you see your child go through all the sacrifices they have to go through just to get through high school and work hard to get to this level. And then when they get here and they have some success it really helps knowing all the things they've gone through, that you're so proud of what they've done and accomplished," said Brett's mom Peg Maher.
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