Boerkircher excited for walk-on offer with Huskers

 Ian Boerkircher has traded in his blue and gold for scarlet and cream, and simply put, he couldn’t be happier.
Yes, Aurora’s football pipeline to Lincoln continues to pump away with the official announcement from the Husker football program that 2018 graduate Ian Boerkircher has joined the team as a walk-on transfer from UNK.
Officially, the roster was released exactly one week ago today, but Ian, the son of Matt and Sherry Boerkircher of Aurora, has known since around March 1 that he’s now part of Scott Frost’s program, joining forces with former Huskies Todd Honas and Austin Allen.
“I’m very excited. It was a little unorthodox but it’s a dream come true,” Ian told me about his journey to becoming a Nebraska football player. “You think about all the kids around the state who always wanted to be a Husker.”
Ian played on the defensive line and also tight end in high school. He stayed at tight end in Kearney but now will move to offensive tackle, Husker coaches taking a liking to his frame and athleticism to play up front against opposing Big Ten defenses.
“Eventually, after I got the official word I was on the team, I called my parents and obviously it was a rush of emotions,” he said. “You don’t know what to think at first. Most of it is just joy that I followed my dream and gave it a shot. They were talking about how much weight they are going to put on me as a tackle, and my dad said, ‘Well, you better start eating.’”
With no Husker walk-on offer out of high school, Ian accepted a football scholarship to UNK and went through fall camp and the fall semester, sitting out the season as a redshirt to preserve a year of eligibility.
“I just thought it wasn’t for me,” Ian said about the Division 2 school. “It didn’t feel right. I really respect coach (Josh) Lynn,  but I just thought it was time for me to go after my dream to become a Husker football player. I’m eligible this coming season.
“Initially in January, I was in contact with some of the (Husker) coaches, and I eventually went in and met with them. They showed interest, evaluated my frame and thought I could help at offensive tackle.”
Ian said he couldn’t practice this past spring with the team, not because of rules, but because he had already signed up for classes, in direct conflict with Frost’s schedule of early morning practices. He said he attended position meetings with coach Greg Austin and learned the offense as much as he could.
“Two weeks ago was my first lifting session. It’s definitely a change of pace from what I was used to. I was a little out of shape going in. It’s very intense. I loved it. I was the new guy, but I could still feel the culture. Everyone had a similar goal in mind. But definitely, the trash bags need to be around. I lost my breakfast that morning. I’m guilty of that. That first workout was rough. They usually last about an hour and a half and you definitely have to go in there with the right mindset.”
Ian is listed at 215 pounds on the official Husker website, but he’s actually closer to 250 pounds, a weight coaches wanted him at as of this past Monday.
He said he’s going to room this summer with Allen, a teammate for the second time and one who Ian said has been awesome at showing him how things operate, while at the same time being a great leader.
It’s obvious Ian has matured and developed quite a bit since high school, making the honorable mention all district team as a senior. Husky head coach Kyle Peterson said it’s going to be fun to watch him continue to progress in Lincoln.
“Ian is a very physical young man who was only beginning to scratch his potential when he graduated,” he said. “His body has changed a lot since his senior year of high school. I bet he is two inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than he was when he graduated. It will be fun to see his growth in the next few years. Ian will be a great teammate and representative of the program down at the university. It will be a work in progress, but I think Ian has a real positive attitude about this move and will do everything he can to make it happen.”
Ian said the Aurora football program’s work ethic has allowed him to get to where he is today.
“The conditioning program that I went through under coach Peterson set me up pretty well for what I’m looking at now,” Ian mentioned. “The culture of the team. The hard work. Just roll up your sleeves. Coach Peterson teaches that as well. It definitely prepared me. I’m glad to represent Aurora in a way.”
In order to play offensive tackle in the Big Ten, Ian has quite a few more pounds to go, but said once he was allowed to eat at the training table, the weight started to come.
“The food there is amazing. It’s all-you-can-eat and I’m definitely taking advantage of that. They do a good job of telling us how many calories we need to take in to gain and put on lean weight. That’s what I’m shooting for, getting all those calories this summer. It’s going to be important to do that.”
Ian’s not the only family member who plays football. Younger brother Nate will be a senior next fall at Aurora and he’s already getting interest from Wyoming and South Dakota State, among other schools.
“He’s getting a lot of attention, more than I did,” Ian added. “Obviously that would be the dream, to have my little brother follow me to Lincoln. I was overjoyed when I saw he got the invite to the spring game. I was walking him around and showing him stuff. It was awesome, and for my parents, too.”
It’s an exciting story. Definitely worth a change of colors.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@hamilton.net.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet