While his team’s record isn’t what he’d like it to be at 3-7, Nebraska nickel defender JoJo Domann has enjoyed the best season of his career as a Blackshirt.
Following a game where he recorded nine tackles, two pass breakups and one interception against the nation’s top-scoring offense in Ohio State, head coach Scott Frost revealed in the post-game press conference that Domann has been playing injured for parts of the season.
With his future in mind, Domann has decided to not play in the Huskers’ final two games against Wisconsin on Nov. 20 and Iowa on Friday, Nov. 26. Even with wins over the Badgers and Hawkeyes, Nebraska still won’t qualify for a bowl game, making it five straight seasons without postseason play.
Domann announced the news on Thursday afternoon. He went into further detail on the injury and the decision to have surgery before the season ended on his podcast, “The Beat with JoJo Domann.”
— JoJo Domann (@TheDomannator) November 11, 2021
“For the past six years, I’ve been honored to play for Nebraska,” Domann wrote. “I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to be part of a special community and program. I will always be a Husker.”
On Wednesday, Frost was asked about Domann’s status going forward, but wanted to give the Colorado native the chance to announce his plans himself.
“Guys like him have poured so much and given so much to this university and this program that, he kind of wanted to do it in his own way and I’m going to let him do that,” Frost said Wednesday.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Domann is a versatile defender for defensive coordinator Erik Chinander’s unit. He’s third on the team in tackles with 72, second in tackles for loss with nine and has a team-high two forced fumbles. He chose to return to Nebraska for a sixth year that was made available by the NCAA due to COVID-19.
Last season, Domann—the only player on the roster who recorded a stat in Nebraska’s last bowl appearance in 2016 as a true freshman—led the defense with 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Even though the team played just eight games in the COVID-shortened season, his 58 tackles were a career-high.
In 2019, Domann recorded 52 tackles and ranked second on the team with 11 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles while also coming in fourth in sacks with 2.5.
After the loss to Purdue, Domann talked with passion about the adversity the team is going through and what it’s like to play through that as a sixth-year senior.
“I know they don’t let you guys into the practices, but we work our butts off,” he said. “We do everything that coaches ask of us and we’re still in this situation. We just can’t be defined by these moments. And even though we have this emotion attached to the win or loss, we play for Nebraska and I take pride in that.
“That’s how I play the game, I want to want to earn respect out there. Wins and losses are beyond me. So, I appreciate you guys sticking with us and not digging in. It’d be really easy to dig in from out there. Hang with us, man. We’re doing our best and it’ll turn around eventually and when it does, it’ll be that much sweeter.”
Outside linebacker Garrett Nelson talked about Domann playing through the injury following the Ohio State loss:
“Coming back for a sixth year, staying this long and giving what he gives to this program speaks volumes to the person he is,” Nelson said. “He is one of the best guys I know personally. He is one of the best players I know in the nation. He has meant a lot to me as a leader and as a player. [He] taught me how to lead, taught me how to play hard, taught me a lot of things about football and about life. He was one of my first really good friends here when I came to college and he is a top-tier guy.”