Honors & Awards
» Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List (2017)
» Lott IMPACT Trophy Quarterfinalist (2016)
» Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, 2015)
» Academic All-Big Ten (2015)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2015, 2017)
» Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2015, 2016, 2017)
» Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2015, 2016, 2017)
2017 Season Notes
» Recorded six tackles, an interception and a pass breakup in the opener against Arkansas State
» Recorded career-high 10 tackles against Wisconsin
» Is four tackles away from becoming the sixth Nebraska defensive back with 200 career tackles
Senior Joshua Kalu is poised to earn a starting spot in the secondary for the third straight season. The 6-1, 195-pound Kalu excelled as a starting cornerback in both 2015 and 2016, but made the move to safety in the spring and is likely to continue in that role for the 2017 season.
Kalu, who will wear No. 46 this fall, has been a regular in the Husker defense since his freshman season and has made 28 career starts. He has excellent size, range and ball skills to be an impact player in the secondary and has shown the tackling ability to play safety.
In 2016, Kalu helped the Huskers rank as one of the nation’s most improved defenses by leading the team in breakups (11) and ranking fifth in tackles. Kalu enters his senior season with 21 pass breakups to rank just outside of the top 10 on the NU career chart. He also has 168 career tackles and is poised to finish among the top 10 defensive back tacklers in school history.
Kalu was an Academic All-Big Ten pick in 2015 and is a two-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll member. He is majoring in child, youth and family studies and will graduate in December despite not redshirting.
Kalu started every game at cornerback and finished the season with 66 tackles, including 48 solo stops. Kalu led the Huskers will 11 pass breakups and added an interception, three tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries. He made at least five tackles in seven games and had at least one breakup in seven games.
Kalu opened the year with seven tackles, including six solo stops, in the opener against Fresno State. He also had a six-yard sack, two hurries and a breakup against the Bulldogs. In Nebraska’s win at Northwestern, Kalu had seven tackles and clinched the victory with a fourth-quarter interception.
Kalu had seven solo tackles and a breakup at Indiana, and made six tackles at Wisconsin. He had a career-high nine tackles, including seven solo stops, and added two breakups at Ohio State. Kalu had five tackles and a pair of breakups against Maryland and closed the regular season with a blocked extra point at Iowa. He had a season-high three breakups and made eight tackles in the Music City Bowl against Tennessee.
Kalu started all 13 games working at cornerback and nickel back and earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition. He was second on the team in both tackles (75) and interceptions (3) and tied for the team lead in pass breakups (7). His 51 solo stops also led the Huskers. Kalu added five tackles for loss and a sack and had at least six tackles in six games. He also contributed on special teams.
Kalu had a career-high nine tackles, including eight solo stops, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup against BYU. He posted his first interception of the season at Miami, ending a Hurricane scoring threat. Against Southern Miss, Kalu recorded his first career sack.
Kalu had a strong effort against Wisconsin, tying his career high with nine tackles and added a career-high four breakups. A week later, he had seven tackles at Minnesota and helped clinch the victory with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown in the waning moments.
Kalu had eight tackles in a win over Michigan State, then made four solo tackles, a tackle for loss and a breakup at Rutgers. He added six tackles and a tackle for loss against Iowa and had eight tackles and his third interception in the bowl victory over UCLA.
Kalu played in all 13 games, with starts against Fresno State and Illinois. He made 27 tackles, including seven solo stops. He was among NU’s leaders in special teams tackles with seven, including two against McNeese State.
Kalu made his first career interception against Miami in the fourth quarter, helping seal the Husker victory. He forced a pair of fumbles, one each against Fresno State and Iowa, and also recovered a fumble at Iowa to set up a touchdown. Kalu had six or more tackles three times, including a season-high seven against Illinois and six each at Fresno State and Iowa.
Before Nebraska (Alief Taylor HS)
Kalu was a standout performer for Coach Jody Jordan at Alief Taylor High School in Houston. Kalu helped his team to an 8-4 record in 2013, including a trip to the second round of the Class 5A Division 1 state playoffs. Kalu made 51 tackles and had four interceptions as a senior, with three returns for touchdowns. Kalu's play earned him All-Greater Houston first-team honors from the Houston Chronicle, and he was also a first-team all-district selection.
As a junior, Kalu helped Alief Taylor to an 8-4 record, when he made 32 tackles and had an interception and a fumble recovery. He also averaged better than 13 yards per punt return and was named the Class 5A District 18 Newcomer of the Year. Kalu also excelled in track and basketball for Alief Taylor. Kalu was ranked among the top 80 safeties in the country according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. Kalu only visited Nebraska, but did receive scholarship offers from Colorado, Arkansas State, Duke, Houston, SMU, Wake Forest and Washington State.
The son of Elekwachi and Prisca Kalu, Joshua was born on Aug. 28, 1995. Kalu has been honored for his community outreach work with spots on the Brook Berringer and the Tom Osborne Citizenship Teams each of the past three years. He has volunteered his time with Make-A-Wish, NFL Fuel Up to Play 60, the Souper Bowl of Caring, Husker Heroes and Husker Hotline, as well as local hospital and school outreach events.