NU Football BIO
Rickey Thenarse
Player Profile:
Rickey Thenarse 57543
Position: Safety
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 210
Year: Senior
City/State: Los Angeles, Calif.
High School: Jordan

Honors & Awards

  • Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll (2010)
  • Nebraska Special Teams MVP (2006, 2007)
  • Tom Novak Award

Rickey Thenarse made a return to the field in 2010 and earned the team’s Tom Novak Trophy. After sitting out the 2009 season with a knee injury, Thenarse started five games and appeared in 10 in the NU defensive backfield. Thenarse had a career highlight when he intercepted a pass against Idaho and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.

2010 (Senior)
Thenarse has 34 tackles on the season, including one tackle for loss, to go along with one interception, one pass break-up and one forced fumble. The senior had a career-high 10 tackles against South Dakota State, while also adding six at Washington and five against Idaho. Thenarse’s one tackle for loss was key, as his 4th-and-1 stop on the 1-yard line prevented a South Dakota State touchdown in NU’s 17-3 win.


2009 (Medical Redshirt)
Thenarse played in the first four games of the season before being injured against Louisiana-Lafayette. He made 11 tackles before the injury, including three solo stops. Thenarse tied his career-high with eight tackles against Florida Atlantic and had two stops against Arkansas State. He had a two-yard TFL against Florida Atlantic.

2008 (Junior)
Thenarse played in 11 games, including five starts and had 24 total tackles, including 17 solo stops, six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Thenarse missed two games with a shoulder injury, but returned with three tackles and two tackles for loss against Virginia Tech. He made his first career start against Missouri and had three tackles and a TFL.

He made two tackles and forced a key fumble on punt coverage at Iowa State.
Thenarse made his second career interception at Oklahoma, then moved into the starting lineup. He had four solo tackles, including a 14-yard sack at Kansas State, and led the team against Colorado with a career-high eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. He was also a major contributor on Nebraska's special teams in 2008.

2007 (Sophomore)
Thenarse earned Special Teams MVP honors for the second straight year while also playing a reserve role in the secondary. He played in all 12 games and made 28 tackles, including 18 solo stops. Thenarse had four games with at least three tackles, including four tackles and a forced fumble against USC. He had a season-high five tackles in back-to-back road games at Texas and Kansas, and forced a fumble against the Longhorns.

2006 (Freshman)
Thenarse was the only true freshman to play in all 14 games and was named Special Teams MVP. He finished the season with nine tackles, including five solo stops and his play on kickoff coverage helped NU rank among the nation's best in that category.

Thenarse had a season-high four tackles, including three solo, against Colorado, and he also forced a fumble against the Buffs. He grabbed his first career interception at Kansas State, and returned the pick 25 yards.

Before Nebraska (Jordan HS)
Thenarse was a standout running back and defensive back for Jordan High School in Los Angeles. As a senior, Thenarse carried the ball 112 times for 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns, while catching 19 passes for 628 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned 11 punts for 231 yards and a touchdown and returned 14 kickoffs for 300 yards in earning first-team all-city and all-state honors.

Defensively, Thenarse had 153 tackles and one interception as a senior. Thenarse earned Eastern League MVP honors and was rated as the No. 94 overall prospect in the nation on the ESPN 150.

As a junior playing for Coach Elijah Asante, Thenarse ran for 1,234 yards on 130 carries, scoring 12 touchdowns and earning first-team all-league honors. Thenarse also had 15 catches for 307 yards and four touchdowns, and added 20 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. Thenarse chose Nebraska over USC, UCLA, California, Colorado, Fresno State, Oregon and Washington.

Rickey is the son of Kathy Wooten and Ricky Thenarse Sr., and was born on Aug. 2, 1988. Thenarse has assisted with National American Education Week, the Madonna Wheelchair Football Workshop and numerous team hospital visits.

Thenarse's Career Statistics























2006 14/0 5 4 9 0-0 0-0 1-0 0 1 1 0













2008 11/5 17 7 24 6-25 2.0-21 1-0 0 1 1 0
2009 4/0 3 8 11 1-2 0-0 1-0 0 0 0 0
2010 10/5 13 21 34 1-0 0.0-0 1-0 0 1 1 0













Single-Game Highs
10 vs. South Dakota State, 2010
Solo Tackles- 5 vs. Colorado, 2008; at Washington, 2010
Tackles for Loss- 2 vs. Colorado, 2008
Interceptions- 1 three times, once in 2006, once in 2008, once in 2010


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