Signee Spotlight: Noa Pola-Gates

Noa Pola-Gates' official visit to Nebraska in October was mainly to support his cousin, Keana Pola, who was making her own official visit as a softball recruit.

The "Signee Spotlight" provides all the information you need on the newest batch of Huskers, including rankings, evaluations and a look at how they landed at Nebraska. Click here to follow The World-Herald's full coverage of the early signing period.

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Noa Pola-Gates

5-11, 180, DB

Gilbert (Arizona) Williams Field High School

247 Sports composite: 4 stars (No. 147 nationally)

Rivals: 4 stars (No. 116)

ESPN: 4 stars (No. 260)

Other key offers: Alabama, USC, Arizona State

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How he got here: Pola-Gates actually inked with Nebraska during the early signing period in December but managed to keep the news secret until his announcement at the Polynesian Bowl in mid-January. The safety's official visit to Nebraska in October was mainly to support his cousin, Keana Pola, who was making her own official visit as a softball recruit. But Pola-Gates connected with NU coaches and players in a way he couldn't shake, even as coaches like Alabama's Nick Saban and hometown schools like Arizona State recruited him hard. The Huskers also got in on the prospect early, offering him a year earlier when he only had a handful of local programs chasing.

Our take: Just ask fellow NU signee Wandale Robinson — whom Pola-Gates laid out in the All-American Bowl — how merciless the defensive back can be. As an athlete, Pola-Gates is probably best suited to play safety given his punishing approach in run support but he also has cornerback experience and could become a useful nickel for a Nebraska team that needed one in 2018. He also serves as another reminder of the persuasive power of Scott Frost and official visits to Memorial Stadium on game days. If Pola-Gates' addition sparks the return of a Polynesian talent pipeline that was so good to Nebraska in the 1990s, his signature will have an even greater impact.

They said it: "The physicality that he has is what's elevated him. He has the coverage skills and he's long, but there's a lot of guys like that. He has that combined with a love to hit and a love to tackle." — Williams Field coach Steve Campbell

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