LINCOLN — The 2014 college football recruiting cycle is in its final stage, and Nebraska football is down to pursuing a few prospects to finish its class.
Meanwhile the Huskers kept doing work Monday for 2015, as a fourth player announced his verbal commit for next year's class. All pledges for 2015 have come in a three-day span.
Baldwin City, Kan., offensive lineman Christian Gaylord — 6-foot-6, 275 pounds — grew up a Nebraska fan, attended NU's Junior Day over the weekend and became the first offensive lineman to pledge for 2015. A four-star prospect according to Scout and a three-star according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals, Gaylord had offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma State, among others. Baldwin City is 16 miles south of KU's campus in Lawrence.
“It's a childhood dream come true,” Gaylord told Scout.com. “My brother and I would wait around when we were little for the Nebraska game to start. I remember telling my brother before games that I was going to play there someday.”
Gaylord said by text Monday night he wasn't available for comment. Baldwin City coach Mike Berg said Gaylord is the biggest player in Kansas Class 4A and equally as dominant.
“He's just a specimen,” Berg said of Gaylord, who's started since his freshman year at left tackle and finished with 43 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries last year on defense. “He intimidates people. We ran almost exclusively behind him last year, and teams knew we were going to do it. We still went 11-1 and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. He's the best down blocker I've ever seen.”
Berg said NU coach Bo Pelini's hands-on approach played a key factor in the recruiting process. Pelini was the first head coach to visit Baldwin City for Gaylord, Berg said.
On the 2014 front, developments occurred with three players:
Ľ Nebraska lost out on Newnan (Ga.) East Coweta safety Markell Boston, who received and accepted an offer from Auburn Monday. Boston told Auburn Undercover that he'd flipped to Nebraska (after previously being committed to East Carolina) during an official visit to Lincoln last weekend, but changed his mind once the Tigers offered. Alabama may still offer Boston — a 6-foot-1 200-pounder — before signing day. Boston called Auburn his “dream school” to Auburn Undercover.
Ľ Dallas Carter all-purpose back Corey Avery picked Kansas over Nebraska Monday night on a Dallas TV station. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was in Lawrence on an official visit last weekend. NU already has two running backs — Larenzo Stewart and Mikale Wilbon — committed.
Ľ According to 247Sports recruiting analyst Justin Hopkins, the Huskers have “moved on” from their pursuit of Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood wide receiver Desean Blair, who will decide Tuesday. But via Twitter direct message Monday night, Blair — a 6-foot-4, 185-pound three-star — said he hadn't eliminated Nebraska from consideration and will choose between Louisville, Missouri and NU. Blair's technically still committed to the Cardinals. He opened up his recruitment after coach Charlie Strong left for Texas. Two of Blair's Sandalwood teammates, cornerback Chris Jones and defensive end Blake McClain, have already committed to Nebraska.
On signing day, Nebraska will hear on two more prospects.
Kenyon Frison — a 6-foot-5, 290-pound, four-star tackle from West Valley City, Utah — told The World-Herald via text that he'll decide between Arizona State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Utah at 8:30 a.m. Frison had been committed for a month to Utah — where his uncle played — before opening up his recruitment.
A defensive end who canceled his official visit to Nebraska at the last minute last weekend — 6-foot-3, 230-pound Lloyd Tubman — will announce his choice between Nebraska, Louisville, Kentucky and Penn State at 8 a.m., according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The Louisville, Ky., native decommitted from Penn State on Monday.
Another defensive end — 6-foot-4, 230-pound Spencer Williams of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast High School — remains committed to Cincinnati. Williams has expressed interest in Nebraska in recent weeks, but has not flipped from the Bearcats. Auburn and Missouri could be late options for Williams, too.