Nebraska football coach Scott Frost has a big believer residing in Chamberlain.
“Coach Frost is bringing the right mindset,” Chamberlain senior-to-be Nash Hutmacher said. “He’s a winner. He’s changing that whole culture down there into something great. It’s coming. It’s just a matter of time.”
A highly-coveted defensive tackle, Hutmacher didn’t waste any more time with his recruitment. Hutmacher ended his recruitment Saturday morning and verbally committed to play football for Frost and Nebraska. Hutmacher, who goes by the nickname Polar Bear because of his blond hair and big frame, picked the Huskers over other finalists Wisconsin and Oregon.
"Nebraska is going to be a really big-time program here in the next few years and I am just super excited to be a part of that," Hutmacher said.
Nebraska was perhaps the most persistent during his recruitment, having made numerous trips to Chamberlain to visit Hutmacher. Nebraska was the first Power Five school to offer Hutmacher a scholarship.
He visited all three of his finalists leading up to his decision, but something was different about Nebraska.
“It felt right and then I went to some other visits and then I just never quite got that feeling when I was at those other places like I did at Nebraska," Hutmacher said. "It’s just a place that felt right when I was down there. That’s just where I want to be."
A 6-foot-5, 305-pounder, Hutmacher is the 27th-ranked defensive tackle by 247 Sports. He'll be gunning for his fourth straight Class A state heavyweight wrestling title this season. He's also a state champion discus and shot put thrower.
On the gridiron, he totaled 105 tackles, 10 sacks and forced 10 fumbles last season. He hopes to bring that same mentality and production to the Husker defensive line.
“I am going to be playing nose tackle,” Hutmacher said. “I am just going to be the big guy holding that center of the defense together and hopefully making plays in the trenches."
Hutmacher could have an opportunity to contribute immediately in 2020. The Huskers will graduate defensive linemen Darrion Daniels, Carlos Davis and Vaha Vainuku after this season.
"I am really looking forward to it," Hutmacher said. "It’s obviously going to be a big challenge, but I love being challenged and just super excited for it.”
Hutmacher can sign his national letter of intent — making his commitment official — in December.
South Dakota pipeline
Hutmacher joins a long list of South Dakotans to suit up for the Huskers. According to the Omaha World-Herald’s database of former Nebraska players, Hutmacher is the 37th South Dakota native to play for the Huskers.
Sioux Falls Washington graduates and brothers Matt Farniok and Will Farniok are current offensive linemen for the Huskers. Washington graduate and current Philadelphia Eagle Nate Gerry was a recent member of the team.
South Dakotans -- Randy Schleusener, John Dutton and Larry Jacobsen -- were All-Americans for the Huskers. An offensive guard from Rapid City, Schleusener was Nebraska's co-captain in 1980. Another Rapid City native, John Dutton was a two-year starter at defensive tackle. He was the fifth pick in the 1974 NFL Draft and played 14 seasons in the league. Jacobsen hailed from Sioux Falls and the defensive tackle was Nebraska's first Outland Trophy winner, given to the best college football interior lineman in the nation.
Mitchell native Richard Klingaman was a right tackle for the Huskers in the 1950s. Gregory brothers Jon, Mark and Mike Vedral were also members of the Huskers in the 1990s and former Gorilla Cal Stukel also played for Nebraska in the 1960s.
According to pro-football-reference.com, Hutmacher is the second player from Chamberlain to play Division I football. Chamberlain native Barry French played for Purdue and later spent four seasons in the NFL from 1947-51.