Published Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 9:43 pm / Updated at 9:47 pm
Stoltenberg aims to be ready by summer

LINCOLN — Mick Stoltenberg sees the time around signing day as both a start to his Nebraska football career and the next important step in his comeback from a knee injury.

The Gretna High senior has seen limited activity since surgery Sept. 16 to repair cartilage damage to his left knee. Stoltenberg started some physical therapy recently with the hope of getting the OK to start jogging in coming weeks.

“Once I am let free to do some strength training and stuff like that, I'll be working pretty hard to get myself where I was before the injury,” he said.

“It's kind of hard not doing something. Right now, I'd probably be wrestling or playing basketball. I've always been really active.”

The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder missed all but two football games last season for the Dragons after committing to NU last summer. But he expects to be full go by the time he reports for the Huskers' summer conditioning program in June.

That was the hope four months ago after he was diagnosed with a chondral defect to cartilage in his knee that required bone grafting done by an NU team physician.

See the latest NU recruiting news, player cards, photos, video and more.

“They looked at the X-ray recently and said I'm coming along well,” Stoltenberg said. “I think I'm about on schedule with the prognosis. As long as I'm ready by June, that's the goal. I don't want to rush anything.”

Stoltenberg said he's mostly limited now on things such as football-related drills. He's been able to do cardio work on an elliptical machine and upper-body training.

Stoltenberg, who will sign with NU on Feb. 5, expects the Huskers to look at him as a big-bodied tight end or offensive tackle once he gets into the system. He was planning to get some experience at both positions last season after playing mostly defensive end as a junior.

So it also was tough taking a step back after preparing hard for his final season.

“In that summer, I had run my best 40 time, had my best lifting maxes and was at my highest weight,” Stoltenberg said. “I felt like I was in pretty good shape.”

Contact the writer: Rich Kaipust    |   402-444-1042    |  

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and some general assignment tasks, including the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >