Only in Nebraska: Signing Day Quick Hits

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Watch Bo Pelini’s Signing Day Press Conference

By Randy York

In the photo above, camera operators strain to find enough space to film Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck after Bo Pelini’s sixth official Signing Day Press Conference Wednesday. It’s another classic example of Nebraska media trying to serve their viewers, listeners and readers. Only in Nebraska will football coaches, including Husker defensive coordinator John Papuchis and recruiting coordinator Ross Els, draw so much attention. Make no mistake. That’s a good thing because even those beyond the diehards want some idea of how recruiting went, so they can join a lunchtime conversation. With that in mind, The N-Sider compresses the presser and offers up some quick hits to document and highlight Nebraska Football Signing Day 2013:

Nebraska’s signing class includes players from 13 states, plus Canada … In the past two years, Nebraska has signed scholarship recruits from 19 different states and Canada … Nathan Gerry is Nebraska’s first scholarship signee from South Dakota since 2003 … Nebraska’s three signees from Ohio – Kevin Gladney from Akron, Greg Hart from Dayton and Courtney Love from Youngstown, give NU seven signees from Ohio in the past three years … NU signed four Texas natives – Dwayne Johnson from Pearland, Chongo Kondolo from Carrollton, Dimarya Mixon from Mesquite and Adam Taylor from Katy, giving the Huskers at least two signees from the Lone Star State in each of the past six years … Nebraska also signed three players from Florida – Boaz Joseph from Weston, Kevin Maurice from Orlando and Ernest Suttles from Tampa …  Believe it or not, those three represent the most Florida recruits ever to sign with the Huskers in a single year, giving Husker Nation a preview of what could become more intensified recruiting in the Sunshine State … David Knevel, 6-9 and 300 pounds, is the first Husker signee from Canada since Patrick Kabongo in 1999 … NU signed three California players – Drake Martinez from Laguna Beach, Terrell Newby from West Hills and Johnny Stanton from Santa Margarita, giving the Huskers at least one California signee for 15 straight years … A.J. Natter is the first Wisconsin native to sign with Nebraska since 1997 …and Marcus Newby is only the third Nebraska signee from the state of Maryland since 1990.

You also should know that Josh Banderas is the only Nebraskan in this year’s scholarship class. The Lincoln Southwest senior linebacker is the son of Husker tight end Tom Banderas (1985-86-87) … two 2013 walk-ons are also Husker legacy players – Flower Mound, Texas, offensive lineman Dustin Glaser, the son of Doug Glaser (1987-88-89); and Millard (Neb.) North defensive tackle Steve Graeber, the son of middle guard Ken Graeber (1982-83-84) … “The walk-on program sells itself and is huge for us,” Pelini said, adding that “We get the kids we want” because “a certain type of young men gravitate to our program.”

Wednesday, Papuchis tweeted his thanks to “all of Husker Nation” and cited tradition and fan support as “big reasons” why recruits are drawn to Nebraska. Els went to great lengths to describe how the leadership of Nebraska’s earliest recruits a year ago worked together to influence those who made decisions later. Nebraska wide receivers coach Rich Fisher called the 2012-13 recruiting campaign “the craziest I’ve ever been a part of” and indicated it was so bizarre that he’s thinking of writing a book to describe some of his unique experiences … “It’s insane,” Fisher said, and since The N-Sider knows at least one of those moments of insanity, you might want to stay tuned. In the days and weeks ahead, we can promise there is definitely more to come.

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