Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Former Husker, Columbus Graduate Ernest Hausmann Transferring to Michigan

December 16, 2022

Ernest Hausmann got thrown into the fire. An early enrollee at Nebraska last January, the Columbus High graduate started two of his first three collegiate games. They didn’t go as planned. When Nebraska made a coaching change following the loss to Georgia Southern, the coaches benched Hausmann. That laid the groundwork for what became a standout season.

The true freshman from Columbus played in every game this season with seven starts. He tallied 54 total tackles with a sack. He reached double-digit tackles against No. 3 Michigan (10) and in the following game, the regular-season home finale against Wisconsin (12). Hausmann’s biggest hit of the season, however, may have came after the season when he announced his entry into the transfer portal. On Thursday he announced his intentions to transfer to Michigan, leaving his adoptive home state behind.

“I want to say thank you to Husker Nation for all the support that you have given me since day one of arriving at the University of Nebraska,” Hausmann wrote in his statement on December 1. “This has been a very difficult decision but with much prayer and reflection, I decided to enter my name in the transfer portal.”

Hausmann, who graduated Columbus High at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds but now weighs in at 220 lbs, was recruited by Michigan out of high school. The Wolverines were one of a dozen programs to offer him a scholarship but the former Discoverer never got to Ann Arbor for a visit. Recruited primarily by former linebackers coach Barrett Ruud and former defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, Hausmann took an official visit to Memorial Stadium on June 18, 2021. He became the first known commitment of Nebraska’s 2022 recruiting class. He signed his letter of intent on December 15, 2021 and, a year later to the day, he announced his decision to go elsewhere.

Moving isn’t new to him. Hausmann lived in a small village in Uganda until he was 5. His parents tried to get him 2 years earlier but logistics got in the way. Hausmann initially struggled with health complications from a shot he received while still in Uganda. He overcame that through physical therapy to become an athlete. Hausmann grew into a 3-star outside linebacker at Columbus and was happy to share his story with anyone. He announced his first college decision in a video he narrated.

With one spring and one fall camp under his belt, he made three tackles in his first collegiate game against Northwestern. The native Ugandan then became just the fifth Husker freshman to start at linebacker in 20 years when he did so against North Dakota. He made six tackles in that game.

“First major play for Ernest,” former head coach Scott Frost said after the North Dakota game. “I thought he held up well. He has a chance to be a special player around here.”

Hausmann made seven tackles in the loss to Georgia Southern. But with those tackles came inexperienced mistakes. The next day, Frost was out and coaches reduced Hausmann’s role.

Former interim head coach Mickey Joseph was asked about Hausmann’s role ahead of the Indiana game.

“With all those young kids, it has to slow down for them,” Joseph said. “He is an intelligent kid and a great athlete. He just has to keep working but he’s always going to be in the mix.”

Hausmann didn’t register any defensive stats in the wins against Indiana and Rutgers but saw increased snaps later in the season. When team captain Nick Henrich went down with a season-ending injury in the Purdue game, Hausmann stepped in and found his rhythm. He made six collective tackles against Illinois and Minnesota before elevating his play in the final three games.

He liked Michigan out of high school but chose Nebraska. Then he got his official visit to The Big House and made 10 tackles, including a textbook sack where he ran from coverage and collapsed on quarterback JJ McCarthy.

“It was a very cool experience,” Hausmann said after that game. “It was a highly ranked team and they played a phenomenal game. They executed well.”

The former Husker felt himself make more experienced plays and gain confidence with more snaps. He enjoyed the physicality of the game and how Michigan played.

His announcement to Michigan came with only the words “next chapter.” He shared the graphic of himself with lyrics to the Michigan fight song. Now the linebacker from Columbus heads to Ann Arbor with a promising career in front of him.

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