Dustin Payne was one of the most interesting stories in the wrestling program last season, as he joined an injury-riddled NU team in January and started at 149 pounds the following month. Payne did not pick up a win in four Big 12 matches but gained valuable experience to carry with him as he enters his sophomore season.
Big 12 Championships
The fifth-seeded Payne came up short against Nicholas Hucke of Missouri and Luke Silver of Oklahoma State, as he was eliminated by a pair of pins.
Payne gave the Huskers a starter at 149 pounds after NU had forfeited seven duals due to injury. The walk-on wrestled in his first collegiate match Feb. 12 at Oklahoma State and scored on a reversal in a 12-2 loss to Luke Silver of Oklahoma State. Payne was then defeated by No. 9 Mitch Mueller of Iowa State by technical fall in the regular-season finale.
Payne was a four-time Class D Nebraska state qualifier at East Butler High School (Brainard, Neb.), winning the 2008 135-pound championship with a 32-2 mark. He finished his high school career with a 127-16 record and reached the semifinals of the state tournament every year, claiming third in 2007 (135) and 2009 (145).
Dustin was born on Sept. 30, 1990 and is the son of Larry and Lois Payne. He has an older brother, Eric. Dustin is a business administration major at Nebraska.