Tight End
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 240
Year: Senior
City/State: Pierce, Neb.
High School: Pierce


  • 2006 Preseason No. 9 Tight End in Nation (Sporting News)
  • 2006 Preseason First-Team All-Big 12 (Sporting News)
  • 2006 Preseason Second-Team All-Big 12 (Lindy’s)
  • 2006 Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll
  • 2004 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Dallas Morning News)
  • 2004 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (AP, Coaches)
  • NU Single-Game Tight Ends Reception Record (8 vs. So. Miss)
  • One of Three Nebraska TE's with 1,000 Receiving Yards
  • 2004 Rotary Lombardi and John Mackey Award Watch Lists
  • 2003 First-Team All-Big 12 (Big 12 Coaches, DMN)
  • 2003 John Mackey Award Semifinalist
  • 2003 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Associated Press)
  • 2002 First-Team Freshman All-Big 12 (Sporting News)
  • NU Freshman Record for Season Receiving Yards (301 in 2002)

2006 (Senior)

Tight end Matt Herian made a successful return to the field in 2006 after redshirting in 2005 while going through rehabilitation from a fractured leg suffered during his junior season. In 2006, Herian was the veteran leader of a group of four Nebraska tight ends who provided an extra dimension in the Huskers’ West Coast Offense.


Herian finished his senior year with 12 receptions and in the process became Nebraska’s career leader in receiving yards and receptions among tight ends. He ranks fourth on the Husker career receptions yardage list for all players and finished just outside of the top 10 on the career receptions list.


After being at less than full speed during spring drills, Herian returned for the start of fall camp. He played in all 14 games, with 12 starts, and finished the season with 12 receptions for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He led a group of four NU tight ends that combined for 35 receptions, including 10 touchdowns. The group also played a valuable role in blocking for a running attack that averaged better than 170 yards per game.


Herian kicked off his comeback by scoring NU’s first touchdown of the season on a 13-yard reception from Zac Taylor in the season-opening win over Louisiana Tech. With 61 yards receiving against the Bulldogs, Herian passed former Husker Tracey Wistrom to become NU’s all-time receiving yardage record holder among tight ends. 


Against Nicholls State, Herian had a season-high four receptions for 38 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown catch. He tied Jerry List’s mark for career catches by a tight end on a 36-yard reception against USC, setting up NU’s lone touchdown. He added two receptions each against Iowa State and Texas, giving him an NU tight end record 65 career catches.

2005 (Redshirt)
Herian missed the entire season while rehabilitating from a leg injury.

2004 (Junior)
Herian had a solid junior year before the injury. Herian caught 24 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns, with a season-long reception of 43 yards against Baylor. His 24 catches were the most by a Husker tight end in 14 seasons. Despite playing in only half of the conference games, Herian was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by the Dallas Morning News and an honorable-mention all-league selection by the coaches and the Associated Press.

The Huskers wasted no time showing Herian's potential in the West Coast Offense. In the season opener against Western Illinois, Herian caught seven passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, with six of his catches before halftime. Both of his touchdowns came in the first half, a five-yard catch in the first quarter and a 22-yard TD grab in the second quarter.

In game two, Herian tied Nebraska's single-game record for receptions by a tight end with eight catches for 71 yards against Southern Miss. His eight catches matched Dennis Morrison who had eight catches at Colorado in 1966. Herian caught his third touchdown of the year against Southern Miss, a 13-yarder in the third quarter. His 15 combined receptions in the first two games were at that time the most by a Husker in a two-game stretch in 33 seasons.

Herian had three combined receptions in victories over Kansas and Pittsburgh as opposing defenses turn their focus toward him. He surpassed the 1,000-yard career receiving mark with three catches for 39 yards at Texas Tech. Against Baylor, Herian caught two passes for 60 yards, including the 43-yarder, and helped Nebraska surpass 300 yards passing in a game for the first time in school history.

2003 (Sophomore)
Herian started all 13 games at tight end and caught 22 passes, tying for the team lead in receptions. His 22 catches went for a team-high 484 yards, an impressive average of 22.0 yards per reception. Herian's 484 receiving yards were just 76 yards from the tight end position record of 560 yards set by Junior Miller in 1978.

His standout play also earned him honors on the conference level, as Herian was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the league's coaches and the Dallas Morning News and was a second-team all-league pick according to the Associated Press.

Seven of Herian's 22 receptions covered 30 yards or more, and he led the team with three touchdown catches. Herian’s scores included a 21-yarder against Troy State, a 48-yarder against Texas and a 58-yard catch in the regular-season finale at Colorado.

Against Troy State, Herian hauled in three passes for 110 yards, including a Nebraska season-long 77-yard catch. The yardage total was the most by a Nebraska tight end since 1999, and the first 100-yard outing by any Husker in 20 games. The Troy State game was one of three contests in which Herian had three or more catches, including a season-high four receptions for 62 yards against Utah State.

Herian opened the year by catching at least one pass in the first six games, giving him a streak of nine straight games with a reception (ended vs. Texas A&M). Herian was Nebraska’s top offensive threat at Texas with two catches for 90 yards, including his 48-yard fourth-quarter touchdown grab. He closed the regular season with the 58-yard TD catch at Colorado that gave NU a 7-0 first-quarter lead.

2002 (Freshman)
Herian first displayed his knack for big plays during a standout freshman season. He caught a 33-yard touchdown pass against Utah State on his first career reception, and went on to set a then-Husker freshman receiving yardage record with 301 yards on seven catches for an unbelievable 43.0 yards per catch. His 301 yards tied fellow freshman Ross Pilkington for the second-most receiving yards on the team, and the pair also shared the Nebraska freshman record for receiving yards.

Herian did not play in the season opener, but showed his potential in game two against Utah State. He had a 44-yard catch to set up a touchdown at Oklahoma State, then against Texas, snared a 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to pull NU to within 20-17. He had a 28-yard reception at Kansas State, then closed the regular season with two catches for 95 yards against Colorado, including an 80-yard scoring catch. The 80-yard grab tied the second-longest reception ever by a Husker tight end. He capped his freshman season with a 41-yard touchdown catch against Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl.

Before Nebraska (Pierce HS)
A member of the Omaha World-Herald’s Super Six in 2001, Herian was a three-year starter at tight end for Coach Mark Brahmer at Pierce High School. Herian caught 38 passes for 786 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He added 76 tackles and three interceptions as a linebacker.

He was a three-time Class C-1 all-state selection by both the World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star. Herian finished with 24 career touchdown catches and 2,386 receiving yards to help the Bluejays to the Class C-1 state playoffs all four years.

Herian averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game in basketball as a senior. He twice earned all-state honors from the Omaha World-Herald. He also excelled in track and field, finishing second in the shot put and third in the 100 meters in the Class B state meet as a senior. Herian attended Nebraska football camp and turned down scholarship offers from Iowa and Iowa State.

Matt is the son of James and Diane Herian. He was born on Oct. 7, 1983, in Norfolk, Neb. Herian is majoring in history and is on track to earn his degree in December of 2006. Herian was a featured speaker at the Norfolk stop on the "Tour of Excellence" and has volunteered time with local hospital visits. Herian was married to the former Lynsey Collison, also a Pierce native, on July 15.

Herian's Career Statistics















80 vs. Colorado








77 vs. Troy State








43 vs. Baylor



2006 14/12 12 150 12.5 11.5 36 vs. USC 2







80 vs. Colorado


2002 Independence Bowl vs. Ole Miss: Receiving, 1-41, 41-yard TD
2003 Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State: Started, no receptions
2007 Cotton Bowl vs. Auburn: No receptions

Single-Game Bests:
- 8 vs. Southern Miss, 2004
Receiving Yards - 110 vs. Troy State, 2003
Long Reception/TD Reception - 80 vs. Colorado, 2002
TD Receptions - 2, Western Illinois, 2004
Number of Career Catches of 25-Plus Yards - 15; 6 in 2002, 6 in 2003, 1 in 2004, 2 in 2006
Number of Career Catches of 40-Plus Yards - 9; 4 in 2002; 4 in 2003; 1 in 2004

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