Last year, as a junior, Steinkuhler was a mainstay in a banged up Husker defense. He was able to start in every game, but saw three different players start along side of him.
The local product has always been a player who gives 100 percent on every play, and because of that, he was able to have five games with at least four tackles. This includes the game against Northwestern where he recorded a career high of nine stops.
“He goes hard every snap and doesn't take a play off,” said defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski. “When you hustle, it doesn't guarantee success, but at least it gives you a chance. That's what is great about Baker. He is the guy offensive lineman hate to play against, because he keeps coming snap after snap after snap.”
It was that kind of effort that earned him Honorable-Mention Big Ten on the defensive line.
On the field his stats speak for themselves, recording 40 tackles, five of which were for a loss, two sacks, and two passes break ups last year.
Off the field, Steinkuhler has applied his relentless pursuit to the classroom. Earning an Academic All-Big Ten award last year as a junior.
Steinkuhler is primed to have a great senior season in 2012. He is a leader to the defense, both in stats, but also just as a leader for the younger players.
“Baker's a guy who has had tons of success,” said Kaczenski. “As a coach, there are guys who have been in that room for three or four years and had tons of success on and off the field, so for those younger guys, just follow Baker...Just do what he does and you will be okay.
“You can look at it on paper and look at it on the screen while it's paused, but when it's out there and guys are flying, you got 22 players at full tempo, you are going to miss some things,” said Kaczenski. “That's where those experienced guys like Baker and Cam Meredith help me by coaching on the field.”
Currently Steinkuhler is ranked as a preseason third team Big Ten defensive tackle by Phil Steele, but is he plays to the ability he is capable of, he could easily rise in the ranks.
How he ended up in Lincoln:
Steinkuhler was a four-year starter on both sides of the ball at Lincoln Southwest, and earned Lincoln Journal Star Super-State honors three straight years.
As a senior he recorded 36 solo stops and 36 assisted tackles, helping the Southwest defense allow just 190 yards per game.
As an incoming freshman, Steinkuhler was raked as the No.2 offensive lineman by both Scout.com.
- Josh Harvey -