Grove ready to pursue dream as Husker

Grove ready to pursue dream as Husker

If there was one thing about the Nebraska recruiting class that you had to appreciate was the number of "athletes" that they signed. There are a number of players that could play offense or defense in college and don't care where they play. You have to appreciate that attitude. That is the same type of attitude that walk-on, Thomas Grove, has as well.

Thomas Grove, a 6-foot-1 and 210-pound athlete from Arlington (Nebr.) has chosen to walk on at Nebraska. The athlete with 4.6/40 speed says that every time he attends a Nebraska game he still gets goose bumps.

"Tradition was probably the biggest reason," Grove said. "Growing up in Nebraska the program really speaks for itself. You go to Husker games and you know the electricity and the atmosphere. It gives me goose bumps when I think about it."

The Nebraska defensive GA was in tough with Grove through the process. The opportunity to walk on at Nebraska happened late in the season for Grove, but he didn't accept immediately. He had to see all of his options.

"When Coach Jon Osterhout called me inviting me to walk on, it really wasn't something that I could pass up. It was just too good of opportunity to pass up."

"I think that they invited me to walk on either during the playoffs or the week after. It took a little while for me to accept because I wanted to know all of my options."

"I kind of waited it out to see what else was on the table. I had an offer from Nebraska-Omaha. That was the only other visit I took. I had some interest from South Dakota State, Northwest Missouri State, Nebraska-Kearney and some stuff from Iowa State."

Grove played running back and linebacker at Arlington. Nebraska hasn't pegged Grove at a certain position and that is fine with Grove. He would basically play anywhere they asked him to.

"Right now, from what I have been getting they like me as an athlete, but they have been throwing the idea of playing WILL linebacker at me. I am not really pinned down at any position."

"That's really good for me. At Nebraska, if they wanted me to kick, I would put the kicking shoes on for them if they wanted me to. I honestly don't care where I play."

As a senior last year at Arlington, Grove had a very solid season on offense and defense. He hauled in some very nice honors and that really speaks to the type of player that Nebraska was able to get to walk-on.

"I had a little under 1,300 yards rushing and maybe about 20 touchdowns. I don't know how many tackles. I got all-state honorable mention, all-area, all-district, and all-Omaha area honorable mention."

Head Coach, Steven Gubbels, had the pleasure of coaching Grove at Arlington. He had the pleasure of working with Grove during his high school career.

"He's a very coachable player," Coach Steven Gubbels said. "He's very hard-working. He runs the ball tenaciously and defensively he has a nose for the ball."

Getting a high school coach's perspective of the walk on program is interesting considering some of the criticism it has received recently. Gubbels really put it into perspective.

"Being asked to walk-on is fairly elite. It's an honor being asked to walk-on. If you think about it. You are one step away from getting on the field or getting a scholarship."

Grove is already working on getting ready for Lincoln. He has track season to come and will take part in another chance to play a sport one last time.

"I am still working on my 40-time at Explosive Edge here in Omaha. I am full time over there and I am going out for track that will start in about a week or so. I will also play baseball this season, because it will be the last time."

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