Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Matt Sichterman working on drills during practice Friday
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Matt Sichterman Embracing Leadership Role with Huskers While Battling For Spot

August 10, 2021

Matt Sichterman has seen a lot during his time at Nebraska. He came to Lincoln during former coach Mike Riley’s tenure. He stuck with the program as things changed under coach Scott Frost. He’s entering his fifth season on the team and has his best shot to start since joining the team.

Sichterman got in position to battle for a starting position after he had a strong spring. Not only did he make the most of his opportunity on the field but he also filled a leadership void on the offensive line. Nebraska needed some new faces to step up after Matt Farniok and Brenden Jaimes moved on. He’s a leading voice in the room now along with center Cam Jurgens.

The lineman thinks he picked up where he left off after spring on the field. That is partially because things are closer to normal.

“It was a great summer of strength and conditioning,” Sichterman said. “It’s great to have that real schedule. Last year we were kind of just waiting to hear what was next each week. Lifting, practicing and doing what we could, but had no target in sight.

“Now we have Illinois in sight right now. Technique feels good, obviously working it day-in-and-day-out. It’s definitely a process and it’s nice to have that target in sight and something to work toward.”

It is not a lock that the Ohio native will be starting this season even after a strong spring. Brant Banks battled him in the spring for a spot at guard. Other players were in the mix too. One thing we know is that Nebraska has mixed some guys around to find the best five players to have on the field. That can happen when there is increased depth. Offensive line coach Greg Austin has done a nice job of stocking the cupboard in his room.

“You look at guys like Trent Hixson, a guy who started a full year at guard, now he’s backing up the center spot,” Sichterman said. “I’m feeling really good. We’ve got some young guys on that line, but we all have the same mindset where you’ve been in the program a few years, guys like me and Broc Bando, where we are ready to go.

“I think we have better depth than we’ve had in years past. Not only depth, but also from a mental standpoint, we’ve all come together really well. I’m feeling good about this room, no matter which five are out there.”

Speaking of those young guys, Sichterman has a pair of them as roommates: freshmen Henry Lutovsky and Teddy Prochazka. Hunter Miller and Broc Bando round out the all offensive linemen house. The elder lineman is impressed with the two freshmen from a physical standpoint. He believes both are ahead of where he was when he entered college with their bodies. Lutovsky and Prochazka are also absorbing information at a rapid rate.

“Those two guys probably learn the playbook quicker than anyone I’ve seen on this line,” Sichterman said. “It helps that we’ve been in this program a few years so there’s a number of guys that can really help them out in different facets of the game.

“They picked it up by the end of spring ball. It took the rest of us a year or year and a half to really understand what we were doing. From a mental side, I think they’re doing really well. Now it’s just about kind of getting that dial in that technique.”

It’s a unique time for Sichterman navigating this season. He’s battling for a starting spot and there is so much that the young players can learn from his story. He will be a valuable member of the team this year, whether he gets the nod Week One against Illinois or not.

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