After a downright bad year on special teams in 2021, Nebraska is looking to retool that area of its game this offseason. On Tuesday, the Huskers did just that by landing punter Brian Buschini, who transferred from Montana where he won the FCS Punter of the Year honor this past season.
— FCS Punter of the Year (@FCSPunterofYear) December 13, 2021
Buschini and his wife, Kellie, were looking for a change, and after conversations with the Husker staff, they feel Nebraska is the place for them. Buschini said he and Kellie had a plan for improving not only his football situation, but also their loves outside of the game.
“The coaching staff and the coaches, and how much they cared for me as a person and my wife, and what our life would be there—that’s what really set me over the edge,” Buschini said of his decision to transfer to Nebraska. “We were able to see a clear vision for that at the University of Nebraska, so that was really special to be a part of.”
Buschini averaged 46 yards per punt in 2021 with the Griz, which tied for third in the FCS ranks. The specialist had 28 punts that went for more than 50 yards and also pinned 30 of his 69 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
The Huskers’ punting last season was an adventure. There were several games that head coach Scott Frost rotated punters in-game to try and shake things up to get consistent play at the position. We’ll see what happens moving forward with scholarship punter Daniel Cerni. The Australian been hasn’t quite the same since his leg injury in 2020.
Buschini had some boxes he wanted to make sure a new program would be able to check off for him and his wife. They wanted to be able to find a nice house to live in. A good church to attend. And to live in “a smaller town that was safe.”
Not only is Buschini passionate about punting, he’s really into woodworking, too, and wants to find a place where he can set up a shop in his garage. His wife will be looking for an opportunity to connect with the community and get a job nannying.
“We were able to figure out all of these things swiftly with the coaches, and that just really set us over the edge and we’re more than excited to get to Lincoln,” Buschini said.
Buschini was a second-year freshman this past season at Montana and will have three years left to play at Nebraska.
“I’m most excited to revolutionize my game and try to mimic (former Husker punter) Sam Koch,” Buschini said. “He has a bunch of different types of punts that he hits that makes it harder for returners to catch, makes it harder for the other team to get return yards. The only stat that matters in punting is net punting, so I’m excited to work day in and day out to try to improve my net average and do what’s best for the team.”
Buschini plans to get to Lincoln in the first couple weeks of January so he can be with the team for winter conditioning and spring ball. He selected the Huskers over Mississippi State, Utah, Oregon State and Washington.
Nebraska has already added specialist help this offseason. The Huskers picked up Furman scholarship transfer kicker Timmy Bleekrode and nabbed Georgetown long snapper Brady Weas.