Former Husker Brandon Reilly reflects on football career

The former Husker and Lincoln Southwest standout announced his retirement from the game late Wednesday night. He spent the past three years playing professionally in the NFL and XFL. 

LINCOLN – Brandon Reilly the football player was a playmaker at every level.

Brandon Reilly from the sidelines though?

“You got any ideas for me?” Reilly joked in an interview with Channel 8 on Thursday.

The former Husker and Lincoln Southwest standout announced his retirement from the game late Wednesday night. He spent the past three years playing professionally in the NFL and XFL.

“I’m a free agent in life I guess, not sure which direction my life will go,” Reilly said. “You know I gave it a good run, but just kind of internally, the timer went off and I needed to move on to find the next challenge.”

But if Reilly attacks that new challenge with any of the same intensity of football, he’ll be just fine.

“I just tried to live in the moment, embrace everything and truly enjoy it.”

Reilly was a zero-star prospect coming out of high school, really only playing football for a few years after spending most of his childhood as a hockey player. He still managed to be a first-team all-state selection as a wide receiver and a punt returner as a senior for the Silver Hawks.

He walked-on for Bo Pelini in the Huskers in 2012, but it wasn’t until his redshirt junior season in 2015 when he really showed signs of greatness.

Reilly finished his Nebraska career with 70 receptions for 1,275 yards and six touchdowns. His 70 catches ranked 20th in school history, while his yardage total placed him 12th on the NU career list. He averaged 18.2 yards per reception in his career, the second-highest per catch average among Nebraska players with at least 60 career receptions, and the most by a Husker wideout. Reilly had 13 receptions of at least 30 yards in his final two seasons.

Those stats made the NFL a real possibility.

“Early on it really wasn’t my goal,” Reilly said. “It was let me try and get on the field and play.”

Reilly ended up playing for four NFL teams in three seasons, including his longest stint with the Buffalo Bills where he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

He most recently played for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL before the league was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our next home game they already had over 50,000 tickets sold,” Reilly said. “It was an experience I’ll remember. Unfortunately, it was cut short.”

Still, Reilly wouldn’t change anything about how his career panned out.

“It was a proud moment you know? To wear the ‘N’ on the side of my helmet.” he said. “That’s something that no one can ever take from me.

“You know when it finally worked out and paid off. A lot of work went into it. A lot of time. But I loved every second of it.”

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports