Over the course of coach Scott Frost’s and offensive line coach Greg Austin’s time at Nebraska, there has been a heavy emphasis on reshaping the offensive line. The pair wanted to upgrade the talent in the room. The team also needed to get bigger along the line to hold up in the Big Ten on a consistent basis.
There have been several high-profile additions to the line. Turner Corcoran, Bryce Benhart and Teddy Prochazka were big-time recruits. Cam Jurgens has been a mainstay after converting to center. Ethan Piper emerged quickly as an option at guard. There’s been a lot of new blood in the room.
It hasn’t been an easy road at Nebraska for guard Matt Sichterman.
“I was kind of chasing guys like Matt Farniok and Boe Wilson,” Sichterman said. “Now the younger guys are coming up. They’re just pushing me to be a lot better. As I see myself going into my fifth year and my time kind of winding down, it’s like it’s my time to get out there and execute. Those young guys, especially Ethan Piper and Brant Banks they’ve really been pushing me.”
Sichterman has taken it upon himself to mentor those younger players. That is tough since he is competing with them as well. He’s done his part to pull those guys along, especially as Banks makes the switch from tackle to guard. That’s only part of what has impressed Austin about Sichterman.
“Sichterman is a kid, I’m very proud of as it relates to his tenure being here,” Austin said. “Up until now he’s just kind of a backup, a quality backup. I didn’t know what he was going to be coming into spring. I knew that we were going to give him a shot. He’s taking full advantage of it. He’s done a really good job. He’s been consistent. He’s been a vocal leader.
“He’s been everything that we’ve ever asked him to be. He’s been a pretty productive offensive lineman for us. So, I’m pretty proud of him and looking forward to where he goes and what he does with that position.”
A lot of players in his position may have entered the transfer portal. Sichterman has stuck it out at Nebraska. That’s because he loves his teammates, coaches and strength staff. His relationship with Austin has improved over the years. He loves being coached by the former Husker.
The other piece of the puzzle for the Ohio native is his degree. He’s one of a few players at Nebraska to major in Software Engineering. It’s important to him to finish his degree before pursuing an MBA when he graduates in May. Fellow lineman Broc Bando interjected during Sichterman’s time with media. He called Sichterman is a “genius.” That intelligence is helping him with football.
“He’s a cerebral kid. He’s a smart kid. Hell of a lot smarter than I’ll ever be,” Austin said. “He’s a computer programmer and makes websites and all that stuff and I just coach football. He has a good feel for leadership, a good feel for understanding when to push the buttons of the young guys when to lead, when to be vocal. When to get after their ass. He’s a good teacher. He’s telling some of the young guys what they need to do, how they can step better, body position, etcetera, so he’s always coaching.
“I certainly appreciate him and what he means to the unit, especially in the role he is in now.”
Austin has always been complimentary of the work done by Sichterman behind the scenes. Now he’s competing this spring for an open guard spot on the offensive line. He seems to be making the most out of his opportunity, especially as he received reps with the first-team during the Huskers’ first open practice of spring.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.