When Luke Reimer left Ashland, Kansas, for Lincoln before his junior year of high school, he didn’t imagine himself as a Husker football recruit. But two years at Lincoln North Star and a desire to push himself changed that.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete was originally committed to South Dakota State but opted out of a scholarship to walk on at Nebraska. It came down to what he saw as the best way to better his game.
“I definitely have been aiming for the biggest (football program),” he said. “That’s kind of why I decommitted from South Dakota State and wanted to play at Nebraska. ... Ever since I was little, I’ve felt like sports just come really easy to me. I haven’t really had to push myself.
“At Nebraska, walking on, I feel like that’s the best opportunity to really push myself and see how far I can go and challenge myself.”
Reimer’s drive is familiar to Navigators coach Tony Kobza. He watched Reimer overcome a midseason high-ankle sprain to lead the team in total tackles (74), solo tackles (59) and tackles for loss (14). He also led North Star in rushing yards (328 yards on 49 carries) and total touchdowns (four, all rushing).
Reimer’s skills were on display in the Navigators’ 21-7 win over North Platte. He scored the first two touchdowns and forced a fumble that led to North Star’s final score. Even in defeat, Reimer stood out. He had a game-high 18 solo tackles and scored the Navigators’ lone touchdown in a 56-6 loss to Elkhorn South.
“I don’t know if I saw him miss a tackle this season,” Kobza said. “I know trying to tackle him, bring him down, he has great power, great leverage. He just has a kind of natural instinct for the game.”
Reimer’s instinct and ability to play on both sides of the ball may help him see the field for the Huskers. He’s hoping to make an impact first on special teams, then at linebacker.
“Special teams is the first way to get on the field, and then you work your way up from there,” Reimer said. “To just get in the weight room and get with (strength and conditioning) Coach (Zach) Duval, train like crazy and then get on special teams and then get on the field that way.
“And then, just wherever the team needs me, that’s where I’ll be.”
Reimer’s desire to get into the weight room will be important. He has all the qualities the Huskers are looking for, Kobza said, except weight.
Reimer weighs 35 pounds less than one of NU’s starting inside linebackers last season, Mohamed Barry, and 50 less than the other, Dedrick Young.
“I would say the biggest thing that he is going to find when he goes to Nebraska is the weight room,” Kobza said. “Coming from a smaller school (in Kansas), a lot of his ability is natural ability, natural strength. ... I think what they’re doing in the weight room right now is going to take him to another level.
“I really believe in two or three years people are going to go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe he was a walk-on.’”
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