Center Mike Caputo is known for his outstanding technique and strength.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Caputo Gets Inspiration from Heavy-Duty Weightlifter His Dad

By NU Athletic Communications

Sit down with any of Nebraska's strength and conditioning coaches. Ask them what players rank in the top five of the Huskers' most dedicated weightlifters, and one name will make every coach's list - Mike Caputo.

At 6-1 and 275 pounds, the sophomore backup center to Jacob Hickman is undersized by Division I standards, but Caputo more than makes up for it with outstanding technique and incredible strength.

He comes by his strength naturally. His father, former University of Nebraska at Kearney football player Tony Caputo, once held the Nebraska state bench press record.

"He benched 530 pounds once at halftime of a basketball game," Mike said, "so growing up, lifting weights was just something I always did. It was no big deal, but it's made a big difference in my career."

An all-state lineman, who led Millard (Neb.) North to four straight Class A semifinal games and a state championship in 2005, Caputo considered accepting an offer to play football at a Division II school.

But he couldn't resist walking on at Nebraska, and the reward has been worth the risk. After earning a letter in 2008, Caputo was one of six Husker walk-ons awarded a scholarship last month.

Caputo made headlines last spring when he worked with the No. 1 unit at center while Hickman moved to offensive guard. The experiment sent a major motivational signal to Ricky Henry, who intensified his efforts in learning the playbook, so he could bring the mental part of his game up to the same level he was demonstrating physically.

Caputo, meanwhile, continues to earn the respect and the trust of his teammates and coaches.

Today he offers his personal choices for Quick Hits, the new video series on

If nothing else, listen for the name of Caputo's favorite singer.

For a 20-year-old, the name may surprise you.


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