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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Slimmed-Down Nash Hutmacher Looking to Learn and Lead this Spring

March 23, 2023

With three years in the program under his belt, defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher is now a veteran. However, heading into the spring, he’s feeling like a new man after a productive winter conditioning period.

Hutmacher is still in the 325-330 range weight-wise, but he’s cut down on his body fat with the help of Nebraska’s nutrition staff and improved eating habits.

“Kristin [Coggin], the nutritionist, has been very helpful in just talking with her about what to do and different ways to go about it,” Hutmacher said. “So it’s been very helpful … I definitely notice a difference, feeling a lot better.”

His new defensive coordinator, Tony White, has noticed the difference as well.

“He’s savvy, he’s really savvy,” White said. “You can tell he’s calm. First of all, the the best thing about it is he’s done a really nice job of making sure his weight is down. He’s doing the things he needs to do to make sure that he knows he’s going to play and play a lot. So that’s the first thing. And the second thing is he’s smart. He’s absorbed a lot of the defense. And again, when you get him in there and you see him, you always notice him around the ball. So those are good things.”

White has made a good impression on Hutmacher as well so far in his first few months on the job in Lincoln.

“I really like Coach White,” Hutmacher said. “As a person, he’s very personable, he’s a great dude. I love being around him, and I love his style of defense. We’re getting after it, we’re going after the ball and we’re just attacking the ball on every play, and I love it.”

“You can go up there any time of the day and talk to him about football or you can even stand around and talk to him about life, just whatever you want to talk to him about,” Hutmacher continued. “So I’m really enjoying Coach White and everything he’s doing so far.”

Hutmacher also said he’s enjoying learning from Terrance Knighton, his third different defensive line coach heading into his fourth season of college football. He worked with Tony Tuioti during his first two seasons before Mike Dawson took over that position last season following Tuioti’s departure. 

“It’s been really interesting,” Hutmacher said. “Not having the stability is kind of tough, but you just learn so many different things. You’ll pick up something from this guy and you pick up different things from all the new guys. T-Knight, he’s been awesome so far. I’m really loving him. Same way — you can go up there and you can talk to him about life or you can talk to him about football and I really like what he’s doing and what our team is doing. It’s been awesome.”

Though Hutmacher has 24 games played including a pair of starts under his belt, he’s approaching this spring like he has every other one: he’s just trying to learn as much as he can.

“It’s still the same mindset as when I first got to college,” Hutmacher said. “I have a lot more to learn. New coaches are very helpful in that just trying to get better every single day and improve on my game.”

Hutmacher played primarily on special teams in 2021, though he did see a few snaps on defense in five games. Last season was his first real taste of rotation snaps and he produced the first 15 tackles of his career as a result. Now, as one of just three true defensive linemen returning who saw snaps in a Husker uniform last season, Hutmacher is looking to build off his 2022 season.

“I’m going to try to bring the same thing I did last year and just elevate it,” Hutmacher said. “That’s the same with [Ty Robinson], [Stephon] Wynn [Jr.], Ru’Quan Buckley, all those guys that were here last year. We’re just trying to get those younger guys up to speed and get them going as fast as we can. It’s been really fun.”

Hutmacher said leadership isn’t necessarily something that’s come naturally to him, but it is something he’s worked at to prepare himself to fill that role.

“It’s definitely been change,” Hutmacher said. “Some of the other guys in my class and I talked about it, how it’s just weird being that guy now, the older guy in the room, and it’s something that we’re all embracing and we’re taking the full opportunity of it and just trying to do our best to get those young guys going.”

With a slimmed-down body, a louder voice and an open mind eager to learn, Hutmacher is looking to take a step forward in 2023 — a step that would be significant for a Nebraska defensive line short on returning experience and production.

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