We've been here before. We've learned more about Kenny Bell, Baker Steinkuhler, Daimion Stafford and Ciante Evans. Now, it's time to learn more about Will Compton, Nebraska's senior linebacker. It's Compton's job to help fill the gap left by Lavonte David, so let's get to know him a little better as we get ready for the upcoming 2012 season.
Compton came to Lincoln from Bonne Terre, Missouri as a recruit in 2008. That was a big deal at the time. Remember, in 2008, Missouri was coming off of a string of dominating wins over Nebraska and was looking to replace NU as the dominant force in the Big 12 North. Compton’s decision to choose Nebraska over Missouri helped NU turn the tide and win the last matchup between the two schools.
Compton was chosen as an honorable All-Big Ten in 2011 by both the coaches and the media and was an All-Big 12 freshman and second-team national all-freshman. Compton has also won numerous academic awards in his career at Nebraska.
According to a story by Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, Compton has been using some mental exercises and focus drills to help improve his performance. Based on a book he borrowed from Rex Burkhead, Compton has been using visualization techniques and performance cues to help his mental preparations for games. Compton said he thinks the techniques have helped.
“I firmly believe that it's all mental, the way you think for yourself and the way you think of success against negative feelings. When you start to make plays, you don't even worry about messing up any more.”
Everyone remembers the monster numbers Lavonte David produced in his senior season at Nebraska. But it was Compton who was second on the tackle list with 82, going along with six tackles for loss (second on the team), 0.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Because he redshirted his freshman year, Compton is in his fifth year in the Nebraska program and will be one of the defensive leaders in 2012. With the departures of Lavonte David, Jared Crick and Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska’s defense will be looking for leadership to recover from a disappointing 2011. Compton will be a key factor in providing that leadership.
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