LINCOLN — The first commit for Nebraska's 2014 recruiting class wanted to deliver the news to Husker coach Bo Pelini in person.
And Lincoln Southeast's Luke Gifford just happens to live close enough to NU to do it. So he arrived at Nebraska's offseason camp Monday, waited until it ended and told Pelini — and secondary coach Terry Joseph — he was “ready to be in.”
“Welcome to the family,” Gifford said.
Now, Gifford — like 2013 Lincoln Southwest signee Josh Banderas — will try to recruit more players to that family, starting with the Lincoln Southeast teammate who accompanied him to practice: four-star guard D.J. Foster, who already has offers from Florida and Georgia. Foster's brother, Trey, plays tight end for the Huskers, as do former Knights Sam Cotton and David Sutton.
Gifford's pitch to Foster?
“A lot of people don't get the chance to play college football with some of their best friends and their brother at the same time,” Gifford said.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Gifford received his NU offer earlier this month, sat on it for a week and pulled the trigger Monday, figuring that, no matter what schools pursued him, he was sticking with Nebraska.
“I just felt like there were no other schools that could pull me away,” Gifford said.
247Sports has Gifford ranked as a three-star athlete. He's not yet ranked as by ESPN, Rivals or Scout. He had offers from Toledo and Ohio.
Gifford said Nebraska sees him at one of three positions: linebacker, safety or tight end. NU wants him to gain weight for any of the three. Gifford's goal is to weigh 210 pounds by the start of his senior season at Southeast. He prefers defense, he said, but is open to playing tight end, too.
“I'm a physical player,” said Gifford, named second-team All-Nebraska last year. “I think that's my strong point.”
One source of advice over the years, Gifford said, was cousin Ty Gifford, a former Southeast standout and New Mexico State cornerback. Luke said he and Ty had discussed the Nebraska offer.
“He wanted me to do what was best for me,” Luke Gifford said.
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