Bryce Benhart

Lakeville (Minnesota) North offensive tackle Bryce Benhart committed to Nebraska Sunday night. 

LINCOLN — Bryce Benhart sent the tweet that pumped up Husker nation Sunday night, and he immediately went with his girlfriend for a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

That’s how the quiet giant — a 6-foot-8, 305-pound, four-star offensive tackle from Lakeville (Minn.) North High School — celebrated his commitment to Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class.

One of Nebraska’s biggest recruiting targets — figuratively and literally — is in the boat.

Benhart announced his commitment Sunday night, marking a major victory for the future of NU’s offensive line and coach Scott Frost’s staff. He is the nation’s No. 187 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports composite and held offers from the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan, Oklahoma and more.

The Huskers beat them all, father Gene Benhart said, because of their coaches.

“They’re real people,” said the elder Benhart, who played in the NFL and played and coached at Western Illinois. “There’s no pressure. They tell you how it is. They need Bryce. They want Bryce.”

And Frost made sure the Benharts knew it. In January, he took the lead on Benhart’s recruitment. Offensive line coach Greg Austin built a relationship, too.

“Obviously, it meant a lot to Bryce,” said Gene Benhart, who spoke Sunday night because his son was unavailable.

Frost’s approach was a change from former coach Mike Riley’s two-minute “enjoy the process” conversation with the Benhart family at a Friday Night Lights camp the previous summer. The family liked Nebraska’s facilities, fans and tradition. Mom and dad appreciated that the school was within driving distance.

Once Frost took over, Gene said, Bryce liked that Austin and Frost had been players in the program.

They took three trips to Nebraska. One in June, one for the Akron season opener canceled by thunderstorms and one for NU’s 53-28 win over Minnesota.

Throughout the process, Bryce Benhart was mostly silent. There was scuttlebutt of potentially taking a visit to Michigan — the elder Benhart worked out with UM coach Jim Harbaugh when both were quarterbacks — but Bryce’s commit, Gene said, means the process is over.

Recruiting services are high on Benhart, who is the No. 65 overall prospect according to 247Sports’ ratings and No. 250 overall via ESPN. He’ll cap his prep career at the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 5.

Benhart has been a key piece to Lakeville’s 9-0 season that has the school as the top playoff seed. He also finished fourth at heavyweight at the state wrestling tournament as a junior.

“He’s probably the tallest wrestler in the world,” Gene said.

The Huskers have three offensive tackles in the 2019 class — Benhart, Matthew Anderson and Michael Lynn — and an offensive center/guard in Arizona Western transfer Desmond Bland. Austin said last week the program is aiming to take five linemen in the 2019 class.

Benhart’s decision has Nebraska’s 19-player recruiting class ranked No. 22 nationally by 247Sports. The tackle is rated No. 2 in the Husker class via the 247Sports composite, behind only Omaha Burke linebacker Nick Henrich.

The news comes in the midst of a busy recruiting stretch for Frost and Co. Nebraska landed receiver/athlete Darien Chase (Vancouver, Washington) on Thursday and has a strong chance at two more targets in the coming days. Legacy defensive back recruit Javin Wright (Chandler, Arizona) will announce his college choice Wednesday and touted four-star all-purpose back Wandale Robinson (Frankfort, Kentucky) will do the same Thursday.

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