Kearney Catholic’s Eli Richter made his family extremely happy — with the possible exception of his brother.
“My brother (who goes to UNK) … was always trying to push me to go to UNK,” said Richter, who declined three Division II scholarship offers to walk on at Nebraska. “You could say he was jokingly upset when I committed to Nebraska, but he’s still proud of me for following my dreams.”
Richter received scholarship offers from UNK, Augustana and Sioux Falls, but Nebraska was always at the back of his mind.
Growing up in Nebraska and in a family full of Husker fans — yes, that includes his older brother — forged his dream of playing for NU. His bedroom was decorated in Husker colors and posters.
But achieving that goal meant he had to work hard, and on both Kearney Catholic’s offensive and defensive lines.
“(Nebraska is) getting a young man with a strong work ethic, on and off the field,” Stars coach Rashawn Harvey said. “He’s got good football knowledge. He’s football savvy. He practices with elite effort. He’s a young man that won’t blame, complain or defend.
“He’ll just go out there and do what the team needs.”
Richter’s work ethic showed during his senior year.
Despite straining a hip flexor, he still led the team in sacks (nine), forced fumbles (three) and tackles per game (10.1). Richter finished with 81 tackles, including 48 solo.
“He’s a young man with a good motor,” Harvey said. “He’s sound. He’s got good hands and feet. After putting on some weight with (strength and conditioning) Coach (Zach) Duval, I can see him being a pretty decent offensive tackle.”
Though the Husker roster lists the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Richter as an offensive lineman, coaches from both sides of the ball have talked to him.
“When I get down there, I’ll do whatever they want me to do,” he said. “Fill in wherever they need me.”
As for where the Huskers need him first? That would be the weight room and scout team. Which is fine with Richter. The weight room and Duval were one of Nebraska’s major selling points.
“The knowledge (Duval) has about the weight room, and the technology they have built into getting bigger and stronger — that was always a big factor in my decision,” he said. “Honestly, you can’t find that kind of technology in a weight room anywhere else in the country.”
And it ultimately came down to something else: Memorial Stadium and his dream to one day play there.
“Thinking about all that history in that stadium and the people that’ve walked through there,” Richter said. “All the talented Husker athletes and coaches that have been there. It’s just crazy. You get the chills there.”
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