flyers jersey cheap ‘Nebraska’s Danny Woodhead’ lives up to nickname in Husker spring game
LINCOLN The football player Nebraska coach Mike Riley likes to call “our Danny Woodhead” showed at Saturday’s Red White game why that nickname isn’t just for fun.
Wyatt Mazour, a sophomore walk on from Albion, Nebraska, flashed his running, pass catching and tackle breaking skills while rushing six times for 60 yards and a touchdown and hauling in six passes for 81 yards.
Mazour’s stocky stature and low center of gravity at 5 foot 9 and 195 pounds plus his speed bursts can bring to mind Woodhead, a Division II All American at Chadron State who is entering his ninth NFL season.
“Oh, my goodness. Look at that guy!” Riley exclaimed at the scene. “Nice job, Wyatt.”
Mazour offered a thank you and a smile in return. He also smiled in discussing his nickname of Woodhead, a player Riley once coached in the Hula Bowl college all star game.
“It means a lot,” Mazour said. “Coach has been calling me that for a while. Just to be compared to someone that great who is in the NFL and has done a lot in that league is just a blessing.”
His friends like the nickname for other reasons.
“They go, ‘What’s up, Danny?'” Mazour said, grinning. “They razz me about it, but it’s all in good fun. It’s a fun team to be around.”
Just being on the team this spring is fun for Mazour.
Last fall, he impressed the coaches enough with his special teams work to earn a spot on the travel squad for the Indiana game. It would have been just the second game action in his career.
But in practice a few days before while on scout team, he suffered a concussion on an accidental helmet to helmet hit from linebacker Josh Banderas.
It proved to be a season ending injury. The dizziness and sensitivity to light forced him to miss nearly a month of classes,
and he couldn’t drive for weeks. It took two months for a return to normal.
Mazour’s weight dropped to 183 during the concussion recovery, but he now has bulked back up to 195.
“It’s a blessing to still be able to play the sport I love,” he said. “I get out there and try to show what I’ve got every time, playing for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” There’s another comparison to Woodhead a strong religious faith.
Mazour said he wasn’t gun shy entering spring practice, just frustrated by the amount of rust he had accumulated from sitting out.
“Then I built up my confidence and was just having fun,” he said. “Last year, I was pretty tense. This year, I was a completely different person. And when I play loose, that’s when I play my best.”
Mazour played loose and got loose multiple times Saturday.
What looked like a no gain running play turned into a 10 yard gain after Mazour broke four tackles. Another big cheer came off a short pass from freshman quarterback Tristan Gebbia that Mazour turned into a 27 yard gain.
Then after switching jerseys from white to red, Mazour capped a fourth quarter drive by darting up the middle for a 5 yard touchdown.
The involvement of the running backs so heavily in Nebraska’s redesigned offense is a hit with Mazour.
“A lot of teams sleep on it because the back just leaks out,” he said. “It’s wide open. I think you could see how important it is when you’re not trying to force a pass downfield, and instead take the check down and still get five to seven yards.”
Mazour had scholarship offers out of high school from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Morningside, plus walk on offers from Wyoming and Iowa State after those schools filled their scholarships.
“I just wanted to play,” he said. “But I knew I could play here. I don’t think going to any other school would be as good as this one. It’s helping me as a man, as a student and as an athlete.”
And Mazour is providing valuable running back insurance for Nebraska now, with the hope of a bigger role to come.