LINCOLN — Halfway through Iowa Western’s football season, it played one of its many games in Kansas and had a practice inside Nebraska’s Hawks Championship Center. Reivers kicker Chase Contreraz — a lifelong Husker fan who grew up loving NU kickers Alex Henery and Brett Maher — went through his usual work.
During the practice, Zach Crespo, Nebraska’s graduate assistant in charge of special teams, approached Contreraz.
“He said based on what he’d seen in practice, I could start for Nebraska right now,” Contreraz said.
Now that he’s accepted a preferred walk-on offer, the sophomore will get a chance to battle for NU’s starting kicker job in the spring.
Nebraska’s muddled placekicking situation for 2020 gained a little more clarity when Contreraz announced on Twitter that he would play for the Huskers.
After Friday’s visit I’m very honored and excited to announce that I am officially Committed to the University of Nebraska‼️— Chase Contreraz (@chase_contreraz) December 2, 2019
Big Red➡️Reiver➡️Husker @coach_frost @CoachZachCrespo @Coach_Dewitt @CoachStrohmeier @HuskerFBNation @GregSmithHV @HailVarsity pic.twitter.com/Z8zBwwceHB
Contreraz hit 13 of 16 field goals this season for the Reivers with a long make of 47. He hit 40 of 42 extra points, as well. Contreraz visited for Nebraska’s loss to Iowa. Contreraz played high school football for Missouri Valley before Iowa Western, and hit a 54-yard field goal in prep play.
According to Kohl's Professional Camps, Contreraz also hit a kickoff with 3.9 seconds of hang time at the 2019 Midwest Spring Showcase. Nebraska recruited him hardest and best.
“It turned out the only offer I wanted was the one I got,” Contreraz said.
Contreraz joins a Husker kicking group in considerable flux. Scholarship kicker Barret Pickering can return as a sophomore or junior because 2019 could be counted as a redshirt year. Matt Waldoch, who walked on to the team midseason, will be invited back, as well.
After that, it’s unclear who NU’s kickers may be. Dylan Jorgensen and Lane McCallum each made field goals this season — McCallum hit the game-winner against Northwestern — but neither was in the regular kicking rotation by season’s end. The Huskers have extended several preferred walk-on offers to high school prospects.