Honors & Awards
» 2014 Nebraska Offensive Scout Team MVP
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2018)
Senior running back Mikale Wilbon is among a group of veteran players who will compete for action in the Husker backfield this season. The 5-9, 220-pound Wilbon has a good combination of power and shiftiness, allowing him to be effective as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Wilbon has been a contributor for the past three seasons, and last year rushed for nearly 400 yards while adding 21 receptions.
Wilbon joins fellow senior Devine Ozigbo, junior Tre Bryant and sophomore Jaylin Bradley as returnees with playing experience for the Huskers.
Wilbon graduated in May of 2018 with a degree in sociology, and is working on his master’s degree in educational administration.
Wilbon earned the most playing time of his career as a junior and responded with his best season. He appeared in 11 games and made his first seven career starts. Wilbon set career highs with 88 carries, 379 rushing yards and six touchdowns after entering the season with 24 career rushing attempts for 124 yards and no touchdowns. His six touchdowns led Nebraska and were double the total of any other Husker. Wilbon also caught 21 passes for 80 yards, recording 15 more catches and 18 more receiving yards than his first two seasons combined.
In the season opener against Arkansas State, Wilbon scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for his first career rushing touchdown. He added a two-yard touchdown run the next week at Oregon to pull the Huskers to within seven with 2:47 to play. Following an injury to starter Tre Bryant, Wilbon started seven of the final 10 games. In his first career start against Northern Illinois, Wilbon set career highs with 24 carries and 90 rushing yards, including a season-best 25-yard run. He added three catches for 14 yards against NIU to finish with a career-high 104 all-purpose yards. In the Big Ten opener against Rutgers, Wilbon had 14 carries for 78 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run. He added 13 carries for 60 yards the next week at Illinois. After combining for only five carries over the next four games, Wilbon had 10 carries and scored a touchdown at Minnesota before rushing for 53 yards on 10 carries at No. 13 Penn State. He scored a pair of rushing touchdowns at Penn State for his first career game with multiple touchdowns. In the season finale against Iowa, Wilbon rushed for 39 yards on seven carries, and he caught a career-high four passes totaling 18 yards.
Wilbon was one of four I-backs to see significant action in 2016. Wilbon played in 10 games and rushed for 89 yards on 15 carries, while adding four receptions for 34 yards.
Wilbon had a 16-yard carry in the opener against Fresno State. He had the most productive rushing day of his career in his hometown against Northwestern, with six carries for 55 yards, including a career-long 32-yard run. He added a six-yard catch against the Wildcats. He added 13 rushing yards at Ohio State. He added single receptions against Purdue and Minnesota.
2015 (Redshirt Freshman)
Wilbon played in four games, seeing action as a reserve I-back in the first three games and at Purdue. Wilbon had nine carries for 35 yards and caught two passes for 28 yards. He had six carries for 14 yards and 28 receiving yards against BYU, and added a season-high 21 rushing yards on three carries against South Alabama.
Wilbon redshirted in his first season with the Huskers and earned Scout Team Offensive MVP honors for his work in practice.
Before Nebraska (De La Salle Institute)
Wilbon was one of two signees from Illinois in the 2014 recruiting class. He posted impressive numbers each of his final two years despite battling injuries in both 2012 and 2013. As a senior, Wilbon helped Coach Dan O’Keefe’s team to a trip to the Class 6A state playoffs. Wilbon rushed for better than 1,200 yards in six games before being sidelined by injury. He was limited to four games as a junior, but managed 863 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in his time on the field. Wilbon rushed for better than 1,600 yards as a sophomore.
Rivals.com listed Wilbon among the top 175 overall prospects in the country and the No. 9 prospect in the state of Illinois. Both Rivals.com and 247 Sports also listed Wilbon among the top 20 running backs in the country. Wilbon chose Nebraska over a list of scholarship offers, including Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi State, Missouri, Penn State, Purdue, Syracuse and Vanderbilt.
The son of Fredrick Meriweather and Kelly Wilbon, Mikale was born on Dec. 22, 1994. He is working on his master’s degree in educational administration after earning a spot on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the final semester of his undergraduate work. He has volunteered his time with the Nebraska Football Road Race, the Belmont Rec Center and hospital outreach visits.