One of the heated battles this spring is for the backup catcher position behind John Grose. Of the main challengers for the spot, only redshirt freshman Darren Hoffart (pronounced HAH-fert) has played at the Division I level.
Hoffart batted .400 in 10 plate appearances in 2002, missing the second half of the year with a shoulder injury. After undergoing subsequent surgery on his right shoulder last spring, Hoffart hit .379 with a homer and six RBIs in 29 at-bats during the fall, but did not see any time behind the plate.
"Darren was unable to catch in he fall because of his shoulder, so we may not have a true indication of how healthy he is until practice starts," Anderson said. "Last season, he could hit the ball to all fields and had good knowledge of the strike zone."
2002 - Freshman
Hoffart received a medical redshirt, as he played in eight contests before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. He batted .400 with two RBIs and five runs scored. Against Nebraska-Kearney, he went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a pair of doubles and three runs scored against the Lopers.
A three-year starter for coach Marty Torrez at Omaha Burke High School, Hoffart was a two-time second-team All-Nebraska selection by the Omaha World-Herald. He batted .305 to earn all-division honors for the third straight season. During the summer, he earned all-state honors, hitting .471 while leading his team in hits (66), doubles (21) and stolen bases (19). Hoffart led Burke to a state title in 2000, batting .443 with six homers and 31 RBIs. A three-sport standout who earned a total of nine letters (three each in football, basketball and baseball), Hoffart chose NU over Creighton, Minnesota and several junior colleges. He also had a perfect 4.0 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society.