The first time Nouredin Nouili saw the Sea of Red at Memorial Stadium, it stunned him.
“The fan base — I’d never seen anything like it, even with soccer in Germany,” said Nebraska football’s newest transfer, a foreign exchange student from Germany who played at Norris High School, then spent one productive year at Colorado State, where he started as a freshman.
NU offered Nouili a preferred walk-on spot before he picked CSU last season. After the Rams fired the coach who had recruited Nouili, Mike Bobo, he decided to enter the transfer portal Monday.
He wasn’t there long. By Friday he had announced his transfer to Nebraska, and he’ll join the program as a preferred walk-on. A conversation with coach Scott Frost and offensive line coach Greg Austin clinched his decision. Nouili, a left guard at Colorado State, will have a chance to compete for the starting job at Nebraska, and that’s good enough for him.
“I’m going to try and earn a scholarship as soon as possible,” the 6-foot-4, 283-pound Nouili said Friday. “I think I can do that.”
Nouili said he’ll submit to the NCAA a waiver seeking immediate eligibility so he doesn’t have to sit out a year. He plans on finishing the semester at Colorado State and then enrolling at NU for the spring semester. He’ll participate in winter conditioning and spring practice.
“Coach Frost laid out for me how the next few months would go,” Nouili said.
If the waiver is denied, he’ll have to redshirt next season and prepare to be a redshirt sophomore in 2021. Nebraska currently has six linemen who will be redshirt freshmen in 2020. Because of his year at Colorado State, Nouili has more playing experience than all of them.
The transfer back to Nebraska caps a whirlwind 18 months for Nouili, who arrived in the United States in July 2018 and played a single season of football at Norris. He was housed with the Hausmann family. Ashton Hausmann, a running back/linebacker for Norris, is walking on to the Huskers for the 2020 class.
“I wish he were still a running back so I could block for him,” Nouili joked. “Since he’ll be at linebacker, I’ll have to smack him in the helmet a few times.”
Nouili picked Nebraska over offers from some FCS, junior college and Division II programs. He also had interest from Boston College and Kansas State. CSU’s new coach — Steve Addazio, just fired by Boston College — didn’t reach out to Nouili upon taking the job and really didn’t have a chance to do so. Nouili was ready to be at Nebraska.
“Nebraska has become my home,” he said, “and I’m excited to be home.”
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