For Noah Stafursky, life is more fun when you’re the underdog.
This works well for the freshman sports media communications major and Husker offensive lineman from York.
He admitted the expectation for Scott Frost, Husker football head coach, to turn the team around in two years was a bit far out.
“The expectations were crazy,” he said. “What happened at UCF (University of Central Florida) doesn’t really happen- especially in the Big 10.”
Stafursky said he has always liked finding an underdog to root for, though, and finds a connection from his fandoms to his current position.
His teams, the Sixers, the Giants and the Nationals have had their fair share of tough seasons, but he has stuck with them through thick and thin.
“I always think it’s better to be an underdog than the favorite,” he said.
His mom Jodi Draper said the underdog mentality had not applied to Stafursky in his high school athletics, though.
Stafurksy was a wrestler in high school and he was “not really good at losing.”
Draper said her son has a way of making magic happen.
“He wrestled 285 and would come in at 310,” she said. “But he’d always lose the weight in three or four weeks.”
She said he simply doesn’t give up.
Stafursky hasn’t hit Tom Osborne field in a game yet, but he said he is still improving and does not take his stats to heart.
“He’s a resilient player,” hometown friend Scott Fulsos said.
He said the losing streak is nothing Stafursky can’t handle.
“It makes him hungry,” Fulsos said. “It makes him want to be the guy to make a winning team.”
So far Stafursky said he is working to make a name for himself through tough practices and keeping up with classes. He was invited to Fall Camp and said he hated it.’
Draper doubted how much he actually disliked it.
“He will say he didn’t like it because it was a lot of work and he was really busy,” she said. “He really liked it but won’t tell you.”
She said the whole family knew it was an honor to be invited to the camp no matter what. She is excited to see Stafursky grow into a talented lineman with new knowledge of the position and new techniques.
Fulsos said that no matter how much work Stafursky puts in and how good he gets, he knows he’ll stay the friend he’s known since 4th grade.
“He’s a big teddy bear,” Fulsos said. “He’s goofy, really kind-hearted and just has a great nature.”
But he still wouldn’t want to go up against him on the line or the mat.
“Everything switches 100%. He’s huge,” Fulsos said. “That wouldn’t go very well.”
Draper knows both sides of her son and has no doubt he will get on the field.
“Never underestimate him, he’ll come through,” she said. “Don’t ever count him out of being able to play someday.”