The Nebraska Cornhuskers have found a future punter in Camas.
Caleb Lightbourn, a senior from Camas, announced over the holiday weekend that he intends to sign a letter of intent with Nebraska.
Lightbourn had been on the coaching staff’s radar before head coach Mike Riley left Oregon State for Nebraska after last season. Lightbourn went on his official visit to Nebraska over the holiday weekend.
“I love the coaches. They’re all really nice guys. Couldn’t ask for a more supportive college atmosphere. Just an amazing school,” Lightbourn said. “The support football provides for its players in the classroom is just amazing. I admire how much everybody cares about sports in that state.”
Lightbourn, known as a punter/kicker in a linebacker’s body, was limited to four games this season for the Papermakers due to a knee injury.
That did not concern the Nebraska coaches.
“I knew I was going to commit. I really didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Lightbourn said. “They were sticking with me for so long. I was out for pretty much the entire season, and they still wanted to stay with me. That really made me confident in my decision.”
His booming punts and long field goals in the past as well as as performances at various camps in the offseason put him on the national scene.
Kohl’s, the service that ESPN uses for its special teams rankings and claims to see more kickers, punters and snappers “than any other organization,” has Lightbourn as the 12th-best punter in the nation and 16th-best kicker.
The site describes Lightbourn, at 6-3, 214 pounds, as a player with “superior athleticism and overall power.”
His greatest strength, Kohl’s said, is punting.
Lightbourn said he plans to redshirt next season. He wants to study computer engineering or industrial business economy.
Two more signees: Add Kari Staples of King’s Way Christian and Alexandra Barter of Skyview to the number of athletes who signed in November.
Staples will play volleyball for Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.
Barter is headed to Canton, N.Y., to play softball for St. Lawrence University.
For a list of signees, go to The Columbian’s High School Sports blog at blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports.