Arvada (Colo.) tackle Paul Thurston signed with NU on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder could slide inside to guard for the Huskers. Thurston joined World-Herald and Omaha.com readers Wednesday for a chat:
What are your biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses?
Thurston: In terms of my biggest strengths, I’d say it is my ability to move. I’ve been schooled in high school on pass pro techniques as well as reading defenses. In terms of weaknesses, my strength and weight. I need to continue to work hard in the weight room.
What stood out about Nebraska for you?
Their weight program, the coaching staff, and the degree program: journalism.
What are your goals for your first year at Nebraska?
I want to get a lot stronger and get to know my teammates — join the brotherhood. I definitely am going with the intention of starting or at least making an impact.
Who were your favorite college and pro teams growing up?
In terms of pro teams it was the Denver Broncos or the Indianapolis Colts. College was the USC Trojans.
Are there any Huskers or 2012 recruits that you’ve already started to bond with?
Michael Rose and Jordan Westerkamp.
Do you root against the Colorado Buffaloes?
No. My buddy, Marc Mustoe, plays for CU so I still support him. But if we ever play them, watch out!
Nebraska has a great tradition of producing big nasty offensive linemen. What do you bring to the table to help continue our pipeline tradition?
A passion for the game and the desire to be big and nasty. Again, that is why I chose NU. I truly believe it is the best college place for a lineman today.
How excited are you to run out of the tunnel for the first time?
I did the tunnel walk on my official visit and it gave me goose bumps. I can’t imagine what it will be like suited up as part of the team. I’m really excited.
Do you snowboard or ski?
No. I’ve always been warned against those activities on account of the risk involved. I’ll have plenty of time after my football career.
Did you ever feel pressure to stay in-state?
Not really. I had a great support network around me that wanted me to be in the place that was best for me.
What does Nebraska’s tradition mean to you?
It means a lot. I hope to go there and continue the tradition by helping the team win the national championship.
What are your personal goals for your time at Nebraska?
There are four areas in my life that currently define me: education, football, training, and my walk with Christ. It is my hope that I would excel in each of these areas.
Who was your favorite football player growing up?
Growing up it would be John Elway. Yet the person I want to emulate is Dick Butkus. I want to become the Dick Butkus of the offensive line.
What number would you like to wear as a Husker?
I’d like No. 71, but another lineman from Colorado has it. So, I’d love 75 or 73.
How close did you follow Nebraska this year?
I watched every game.
What excites you most about coming to play at Nebraska?
That’s a hard question. Nebraska is the best fit as to the four areas I mentioned before. The community is great, the fan base is amazing. There are great churches close to campus, and I love the coaching staff as well as the facilities. It would be hard to narrow it down to just one.
Are there any current college or professional offensive linemen that you feel your playing style mirrors?
Currently I think I best emulate Chris Kuper of the Denver Broncos. He’s their right guard.
What are your thoughts on playing Big Ten football?
What a great conference with great players. I’m excited to help Nebraska become the dominant team!