Honors & Awards

  • Second-Team All-Big Ten (2012, Coaches, Phil Steele)
  • Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (2012, Media)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2011, 2012)
  • 2012 Nebraska Defensive MVP
  • 2012 Nebraska Team Captain
  • Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, 2011)
  • Second-Team National All-Freshman Team (Phil Steele, 2009)
  • All-Big 12 Freshman Team (ESPN.com, Sporting News, 2009)
  • First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2009)
  • Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll (2008, 2010)
  • Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll (2011)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2011, 2012; Spring 2012)

Middle linebacker Will Compton was the centerpiece of the Blackshirt defense in 2012, providing a stabilizing force on a veteran defense. The 6-2, 230-pound senior had an outstanding senior season, leading the team with 110 tackles and earning second-team All-Big Ten honors.

In addition to his team-leading tackle total, Compton added six tackles for loss and three sacks. He also broke up seven passes and recovered a team-high three fumbles, while intercepting a pass for a touchdown in the final game of his career against Georgia. His play helped Nebraska field one of the nation's top pass defensive units in 2012.

Compton's senior season put an exclamation point on an outstanding Husker career. He played in his 50th game as a Husker in the bowl game and made his 37th career start, including all 14 games in 2012. Compton finished his career with 247 tackles to rank 12th on the Nebraska all-time tackles chart. Compton had six games in 2012 with at least 10 tackles, including a season-high 12 tackles in each of the first two games.

The Bonne Terre, Mo., native has been a graduate student for the past two semesters after earning his undergraduate degree in December of 2011. He was one of 28 Husker football players to be named to the academic All-Big Ten team, marking the third time Compton has been an academic all-conference selection.

Compton is widely respected by his teammates and was one of five players voted as a team captain for the 2012 season. He was also chosen as the Huskers' Defensive MVP in a vote of his teammates.

2012 (Senior)
Southern Miss:
Led the Blackshirts against USM with a team-high 12 tackles, three shy of tying his career high... sacked Chris Campbell for a 12-yard loss in the second-quarter to force USM into 4th-and-23... marked the fourth time in his career he has racked up double-digit tackles. UCLA: Led Nebraska in tackles with 12 for second straight game... produced eight solo stops on the night... came through with a sack for the second straight week, one of NU's three sacks against UCLA. Arkansas State: After leading NU in tackles the first two weeks, he finished tied for second with three other Blackshirts with seven total stops... added one TFL on the day, his third of the year. Idaho State: Tied six other Huskers for second on the team in tackles with three in his 40th game as a Husker... recovered a fumble by Kevin Yost in the second quarter and returned it 12 yards... was one of three turnovers forced by the Blackshirts on the day. Wisconsin: Recorded 10 tackles, marking his third double-figure tackle game of the 2012 season... added an 11-yard sack in the second quarter for his third sack of the season... pushed his career tackle total to 181 to move up five places to 40th on the NU career tackles list... added a career high with his first two pass break-ups of the year. Ohio State: Tied P.J. Smith and Eric Martin for the team lead in tackles with nine... produced three solo tackles on the night. Northwestern: Registered five tackles, including two solo stops... produced a pass break-up on the Wildcats' final possession to help secure NU's 29-28 comeback win. Michigan: Was held to just four tackles on the night, but helped hold the Wolverines to a season-low 188 yards of total offense... ended the game with 199 career tackles. Michigan State: Recorded 11 tackles to become the 32nd player in school history to record 200 or more career tackles... ended the game with 210 career tackles... added a fumble recovery and a pass break-up in the game. Penn State: Tied Ciante Evans for the team lead with 10 tackles... was his fifth double-figure tackle game of the season... recorded his third fumble recovery of the season, the most by a Husker since linebacker Stewart Bradley had four in 2006. Minnesota: Led the Huskers with 10 total tackles, his sixth double-digit tackle game of the season. Iowa: Totaled five tackles, including two solo stops... moved up one spot to 16th on the Nebraska career tackles list, passing Jay Foreman (1995-98, 233)... helped NU hold Iowa to 200 total yards. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship): Totaled three tackles to go over 100 stops on the season with 101 tackles. Georgia (Capital One Bowl): Made a team-high nine tackles, including six solo stops to push his season tackle total to 110... intercepted a first-quarter Georgia pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to give Nebraska a 14-9 lead.

2011 (Junior)
Compton played in all 13 games with 11 starts. He finished with 82 tackles, including 39 unassisted stops. He also had seven tackles for loss, including a sack against South Carolina in the bowl game. Compton had three games with at least 10 tackles, and recorded six or more stops in five Big Ten Conference contests.

Compton had a career-high 15 tackles against Fresno State, including six solo stops. The 15 tackles more than doubled his previous career high of seven. Compton had four tackles and a hurry in NU’s win over Washington, and made five tackles at Wisconsin. He played a key role in the Huskers’ win over Ohio State with 10 tackles, including four solo stops.

Compton had a tackle for loss in a 41-14 win at Minnesota, then had seven tackles, including five solo stops, a TFL and two quarterback hurries as the Blackshirts shut down No. 9 Michigan State. He made five tackles and recovered a fumble against Northwestern, then played one of the best games of his career in a win at No. 12 Penn State. Compton tallied a game-high 13 tackles in the 17-14 win, including a tackle for loss. Compton had six tackles at Michigan and seven stops against Iowa, including a tackle for loss in both games. He closed the year with five tackles and shared an eight-yard sack against South Carolina.

2010 (Sophomore)
Compton missed the season’s first five games after his injury, but returned to play in the final nine games, including starting assignments against Oklahoma State, Colorado, Oklahoma and Washington in the Holiday Bowl. Compton finished with 15 tackles, including eight solo stops and a two-yard sack. Compton had a season-high seven tackles against Colorado, and added three at Oklahoma State and against Washington in the Holiday Bowl. He had a two-yard sack in the win over Kansas.

2009 (Redshirt Freshman)
Compton won the starting Mike linebacker job during fall camp and played in all 14 games with eight starts. Compton earned freshman All-Big 12 honors for his effort, and helped Nebraska lead the nation in scoring defense. Compton had five games with at least five tackles, and finished with 40 tackles, including 17 solo stops. He added a tackle for loss, shared a sack, and notched a pair of pass breakups.

Compton made five tackles in his debut against Florida Atlantic, while adding a breakup. He posted a season-high seven tackles and a quarterback hurry at Virginia Tech. He had five tackles against Louisiana-Lafayette and six tackles against Missouri.

Compton was in on his first career sack against Texas Tech, and added four tackles against Iowa State. He had five tackles, including four solo stops at Colorado, then recorded two tackles against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl.

2008 (Redshirt)
Compton redshirted in his first season at Nebraska in 2008.

Before Nebraska (North County HS)
Compton was a two-way star for North County High School. As a senior, Compton had 107 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two interceptions, while causing a fumble and recovering another from his linebacker position. On offense, Compton accounted for approximately 500 rushing yards, 1,000 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns for Coach David Leeds. His play earned Compton first-team all-state honors from the Missouri Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association.

As a junior, Compton made 71 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and an interception, while rushing for 455 yards, and catching 51 passes for 855 yards. He earned first-team all-state honors as a receiver, while picking up all-district and all-conference honors as a linebacker. Compton was ranked among the top five players in Missouri and among the nation’s top 20 inside linebacker prospects. Compton was a defensive captain in the Offense-Defense Bowl all-star game at the 2008 Orange Bowl. Compton chose Nebraska over Missouri and Illinois.

Will is the son of Bill and Kathy Compton and was born on Sept. 19, 1989. He graduated with a degree in business administration in December of 2011. Compton has volunteered his time at the F Street Recreation Center, School is Cool Week and local hospital and school visits. Compton was an academic All-Big Ten pick in 2011, and a two-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll member in 2011-12. He was a first-team academic All-Big 12 honoree in 2009 and a three-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. Will’s younger brother, Cody, is a member of the Nebraska wrestling team.

Compton's Career Statistics



























14/8  17  23  40  1-2  0.5-2  0-0 
2010 9/4 8 7 15 1-2 1.0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0
2011 13/11 39 43 82 7-18 0.5-8 0-1 0 0 0 3
2012 14/14 37  73  110 6-28 3.0-26 0-3 0 7 1 3


50/37  101  146  247  15-50  5.0-38 0-4 0 9 1 8

Single-Game Highs
» Tackles-
15 vs. Fresno State (2011)
» Solo Tackles-8 at UCLA (2012)
» Tackles for Loss-3 vs. Wisconsin (2012)
» Pass Breakups-
2 twice (Wisconsin, Penn State in 2012)
» Interception-1 vs. Georgia, 2013 Capital One Bowl (24-yard return for TD)