Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Nebraska walk-on LB could see increased action against OU

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

With the recent injury to Nebraska starting middle linebacker Phillip Dillard, walk-on Colton Koehler could see increased playing time against Oklahoma.

Koehler is an interesting story. He's a walk-on from tiny Harvard, Neb., who transferred to Nebraska after initially signing with Nebraska Wesleyan.

"When he's out there, he's focused and he concentrates because it means a ton to him," Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler told the Lincoln Journal-Star. "He's always one of the guys watching extra film.

"He was born and raised here [in Nebraska]. He loves representing the university."

Koehler has appeared in three games this season and produced three tackles, including a safety last week against Baylor on his only snap of the game.

Interestingly, Koehler has declined all interview requests, the Journal-Star said.

"He doesn't want to say much because he feels he hasn't done much to this point," Ekeler said. "He wants to earn his stripes. He's just a very humble guy. Plus, he just has so much respect for Phillip. It's really just a respect thing.

"He told me after the Baylor game, 'Coach, I played only one snap. Let those other guys who were out there all game fighting their tails off do the talking.'

"He's humble, and it's genuine -- that's just who he is."

Perhaps most interestingly -- and a direct indictment of some of the heralded supposed talent that came to the program during Bill Callahan's much-ballyhooed recruiting success -- is the fact that Koehler is among five walk-ons currently listed on Nebraska's defensive two-deep roster. Others include defensive backs Matt O'Hanlon and Lance Thorell and linebackers Tyler Wortman and Matt Holt.