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Boone Central/NG vs. Norfolk Catholic, C-1 state football final, 11/21/17

Norfolk Catholic's Dylan Kautz looks for running room against Boone Central/Newman Grove during the first quarter of last season's Class C-1 state final at Memorial Stadium.

ERIC GREGORY, Journal Star file photo

Norfolk Catholic’s Dylan Kautz is fast, so naturally he admired what he saw of the Huskers’ new uptempo offense when he visited on Nebraska’s first junior recruiting day in March.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior running back got to see Nebraska’s new fast-paced system in addition to meeting offensive coordinator Troy Walters, running backs coach Ryan Held and head coach Scott Frost.

“I like how they’re running practice,” Kautz said. “It’s a lot of uptempo. I think they’re doing a good thing there, and I think it will show this next coming season.”

Kautz, who was a second-team Super-State and first-team Class C-1 all-state selection, ran for 2,406 yards and 24 touchdowns last year for Norfolk Catholic’s undefeated state championship team. Despite his smallish frame, he carried the ball 311 times and averaged 7.74 yards per carry.

Because Nebraska is implementing an offensive system that emphasizes speed, Kautz said he thinks he would be a good fit.

“I see that with the way they run their offense, I could really fit in there,” he said. “It’s a lot of getting people in open space and running, and I think that’s the style that fits me the best.”

In track, Kautz won all-class gold in the 100 meters as a sophomore. But despite that success, he said he’s trying to get even better.

“I’ve run a 10.55 this year and a 22.10, which I need to improve those times a little bit. I’m still getting into shape from transitioning from basketball to track, so I think I have room for improvement on both the 100 and 200 times,” he said.

After visiting Iowa, South Dakota State, Minnesota and Nebraska on junior days, and Minnesota again on Tuesday, he said an important thing he is looking for in a football program is the right coaching staff.

“You always want to like your coaching staff, because if you don’t get along with your coach, then you probably won’t enjoy your time playing football,” he said.

Kautz will attend camps this summer for all of the schools he’s visited as he and his teammates prepare to defend their title.

“We want to go 13-0 again and win another state championship,” Kautz said. “I think everyone knows it’s not going to be handed to us. We lost some guys, but then again we’ve gained some more experience. We’re still working hard in the weight room and working to get better.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or bjones@journalstar.com.

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