Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle will have an immense amount of motivation when he and his Vandals step on the field in Lincoln on Saturday. Not only are the Blackshirts possibly Enderle's stiffest competition of his career, but the quarterback is a native of North Platte and wasn't initially offered a scholarship by the Huskers.
Five years ago Nebraska had a highly coveted quarterback commit named Josh Freeman, now the signal caller for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After Freeman committed, the Huskers had no use for another quarterback and Enderle was forced to choose another school to play for unless he was willing to walk-on and pay for school. Enderle later elected to commit to the University of Idaho that November. Some shocking events occurred a couple months later when new Kansas State head coach Ron Prince lured Freeman away from the Huskers. This left the Nebraska without a quarterback in the class so former Husker coach Bill Callahan reached out to Enderle, extending him a scholarship offer. Surprisingly Enderle turned down the offer and decided to stay faithful in his commitment to the Vandals.
Five years later and the senior has had one of the most impressive careers in Idaho football history. Enderle has played a major role in turning the Vandals into a respectable and winning program. Last season Enderle was able to complete the turn around when he led his squad to their first bowl game since 1998. In that Humanitarian Bowl game against Bowling Green, Idaho provided arguably the most exciting finish of any bowl when Enderle hit receiver Preston Davis in the back of the endzone on a gutsy two-point conversation call to win the game.
A key component in Idaho's pro-style offensive attack, Enderle has compiled more than 7,000 yards and 54 touchdowns in his four years as a starter. Not only is the Nebraska native one heck of a college football player, but he's also considered one of the top quarterbacks entering the 2011 NFL Draft. Cbssports.com even has Enderle listed as the seventh best non-BCS prospect in the draft:
Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho, 6-4, 234.
"Fits perfectly as a late second- or early third-round selection, a good-sized quarterback with moxie and a quick release. Enderle's completion percentage and touchdown-interception ratio have improved in each of his three years as a starter. His arm and mobility are about average, and his footwork in the pocket needs to be tightened. Don't be surprised if he ends up a starter in the NFL."
Saturday's game is expected to be a blowout and is considered just another warm up for Nebraska's game the following week against Washington. But if Nebraska takes Enderle lightly, he has the arm and weapons to make some big plays and point some points on the board. Like I mentioned before, this game is not only an NFL audition for the senior, but a chance to show his home state what they missed out on.