Surprising RB standout emerges for Nebraska football

Maurice Mazzccua is making waves in the Nebraska football running back room amidst injury setbacks and unexpected opportunities.
Northwestern v Nebraska
Northwestern v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

It’s no surprise that the Nebraska football running back room is a bit thin these days. Gabe Ervin is still rehabbing and Rahmir Johnson is still working himself back. It’s also not surprising that the injuries and lack of an established RB1 is allow for players to get more of an opportunity than one might expect. 

However, the name that began circulating Nebraska football circles on Saturday is likely a surprise. Unprompted, Huskers head coach Matt Rhule made it clear there is one guy who is impressing the coaches in the early going of spring practice.

Maurice Mazzccua isn’t a name that many Nebraska football fans are likely familiar with. However, on Saturday, Rhule said that he almost worked himself into the rotation towards the end of 2023. Now, as preparation for the 2024 campaign ramps up, the senior is staking a claim.

The last name, of course, is likely familiar for those who followed the transfer portal this winner. The 5-8 and 175 pound running back is the older brother of the massive, 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman, Micah Mazzccua.

During his post-practice press conference on Saturday, Rhule said that the smaller Mazzccua challenged for a 3rd down-back spot. He added that he flashed as a really good short-yardage back last year on the scout team. It appears he hasn’t missed a step this spring.

Nebraska football has a surprise contributor standing out in the running back room

Should Mazzccua manage to really get some playing time, it wouldn’t be the first time a dark horse candidate has won a job under Matt Rhule. Last year, Emmett Johnson took advantage of the running back situation to emerge as the starter.

Johnson is the odds on favorite to win the starting job this year, though Oregon transfer Dante Dowdell is expected to challenge him.

With Ervin and Johnson still taking it easy, or not playing at all, there’s room for Maurice Mazzccua to show what he can do. It’s going to be a while before we see just how big an impact he could have with Nebraska football this fall.