Another homegrown Husker elected not to return in 2023 for the first year of Matt Rhule’s reengineering of the historic program. But he’s not just leaving the team, he’s leaving football altogether.
Yutan native Colton Feist announced in an Instagram post on Wednesday that he decided to retire from college football.
“It’s been one hell of a ride, but it’s time to hang them up,” Feist wrote in a post. “Thankful for all the memories and relationships I have made along the way. Thank you Husker Nation!”
Thanks Husker Nation! pic.twitter.com/ZYdg1dTj44
— Colton Feist (@coltonfeist13) December 28, 2022
The former Nebraska defensive tackle further explained his decision in a Thursday morning appearance on 93.7 The Ticket’s Early Break. He spoke with his family and met the new coaching staff to decide his best course of action following a difficult season. He met with Rhule and new defensive line coach Terrance Knighton with the possibility of a sixth collegiate football season looming.
“Lots of stuff starts to happen, you know, had a couple ankle surgeries, broken foot, stuff like that,” Feist said. “Just putting everything together and figuring out what was best for me.”
Feist decided he’ll sell insurance with Farm Bureau, under agent Troy Perchal in Elkhorn. He wanted to use his agriculture background into his future, calling it a perfect fit. But his decision to leave Nebraska was a difficult one.
His talks with Rhule and Knighton went well but his ultimate decision came down to what was best for him. He acknowledged there’s a lot of change with the new coaching staff and shared some excitement for the new strength and conditioning coach, Corey Campbell. Feist said spring ball will be important for the team and the defense can still play well. Competition in spring ball will be essential to some players stepping up and filling roles.
“I think they’re going to do a good job, though,” Feist said of the new staff.
The former defensive tackle said his final game, the 24-17 win over Iowa in Iowa City, will go down as his favorite memory as a Husker. He loved flying back to Lincoln with the Heroes Trophy. He said former interim defensive coordinator Bill Busch may have been the best coach he’d played under, in terms of rallying a unit together.
Feist started all 12 games last season and played 540 snaps, second behind only Ty Robinson on the defensive line. He finished with 46 tackles and 7.0 TFLs with 0.5 sacks. Those were the only tackles of his Husker career, tallying only a pass deflection among eight games in 2021 and four games in 2020.
He spent five seasons with Nebraska, opting out of a sixth eligible season. He gained two extra seasons because of a redshirt in 2018 and the COVID year in 2020.
Feist is the latest Nebraska native to leave the football program. Columbus High graduate Ernest Hausmann entered the transfer portal and committed to Michigan earlier this month. He came on late in Nebraska’s season as a promising linebacker. Scottsbluff native Garrett Nelson announced earlier this week he’ll enter the NFL Draft. The team captain edge had one season of college eligibility remaining.