If you ever doubted how all-consuming Cornhuskers football is in the state of Nebraska, just check out this story.
A kicker named Patrick Smith was making his official visit to Nebraska, looking for transfer destinations after he decided to leave Western Illinois. Well, on his way to Lincoln, he was pulled over by a state trooper just past the Iowa border. Smith explained his plans when the trooper asked where he was going.
"He took my insurance card and went back to his car," Smith told the Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig. "He then waved me back to his car. We spent about 15 minutes talking about the Huskers."
Smith got just a written warning after the discussion.
"It made an impression," Smith said.
So much that it helped Smith decide to transfer to Nebraska. He made all 10 of his field goal tries last year as a junior for Western Illinois and he's one of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award, which goes to the top kicker below the FBS level. Smith plans to graduate in May and enroll in graduate school at Nebraska. That will make him immediately eligible for the Huskers, who lose two-time Big Ten kicker of the year Brett Maher.
And if Smith hits a game-winning field goal in 2013 for Nebraska, Huskers fans may want to remember to thank that state trooper.