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Helena native, former Griz Brian Buschini feeling right at home with Nebraska football

FB Spring Game 2022
Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 20:54:01-04

MISSOULA — Brian Buschini put together an all-time season for the Montana Grizzlies in 2021.

The Helena Capital product was named the FCS punter of the year for the Grizzlies as just a redshirt freshman this past fall, but at the conclusion of the season, the former UM walk-on entered the transfer portal and quickly received a full scholarship to take his talents to the FBS level at the University of Nebraska.

"Since I was a really small kid, I dreamed of playing at the highest level," Buschini told MTN Sports. "I was always a big dreamer. I'd always watch Alabama winning national titles on TV and I'd be like, 'I want to be there.' Getting married last year, finances became a big part of consideration with our college and everything. The opportunity to earn a scholarship at the higher level, I felt like I would have that based on the season that I had."

Buschini and his wife — the former Kellie Van Kirk, a former UM volleyball player — then packed up and moved to Lincoln, but not long after arriving, Buschini said he went through some personal issues, and needed to come back to Montana.

"I had to go back to Montana because I was really in a tough spot in my emotional journey and my psychological journey," Buschini said. "I really got to a better spot out there kind of finding the Lord and working through things, and I've been super blessed with all of the tools that the Lord has put in my hands as far as counseling and my wife and everyone to help me through this time."

Once Buschini worked through everything he needed, he made the move back to Lincoln, just in time for Nebraska's spring game, and off he went.

It was there Husker fans saw what he was capable of, including the loudest crowd pop of the game with a booming punt, something Griz fans saw often.

"It's been so incredible and it's funny because this spring I was in a huge funk with my football stuff too," Buschini said. "Coming off of that personal time I took, I kind of jittered up my technique a little bit and I was losing my drop really bad so I was super inconsistent this spring. We got to the spring game and my first punt I was fortunate enough, I hit it 63 yards, 4.97 (second) hang time so it was a really big punt and the place just erupted."

Buschini wants to bring that high level of focus and expectations to the Huskers special teams unit as a leader.

After undergoing a knee surgery and taking some time off, Buschini was able to focus on a number of areas of his punting once he got back to practicing, and said he improved his consistency throughout his summer workouts.

With fall camp underway at Nebraska, the Helena native is also on the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy award, which is given to the nation's top punter. Off the field, Buschini has also been able to utilize his platform to find some NIL opportunities, including a recent commercial with a local dentist called "Kick Away Tooth Decay" which recently hit the air.

Now, the punter dubbed as "Boomschini" at Montana now hopes to find even more success at Nebraska.

"I'm just so happy I chose to come here," Buschini said. "It's just been so awesome. I can't wait for the first game and hopefully this season coming up will be a good one. My main goal is to go out there and do my 1/11th and just try to help the special teams room help the rest of the team win as many games as we can this fall."