The scales tipped the Huskers’ way on this one.
A day after Bo Pelini received a statement of support from his boss, the Husker staff found some much needed momentum on the recruiting trail with the addition of two commitments.
The pledges came from top-rated junior college defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales and defensive back Chance Waz.
No commitment may be bigger — figuratively and literally — than Clinkscales, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound prospect from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College who had offers from everyone from Nick Saban to Urban Meyer to the quack attack out west.
“It’s a big thing when Alabama, Oregon, Arizona, Auburn, Georgia (offers). It’s hard telling those schools no,” Clinkscales said. “But when you feel like you found a spot for you and it’s home for you, it’s easier than you think.”
Originally a native of Chicago, Clinkscales said he’s on path to finish his necessary classes in May, and then will have two years of eligibility when he arrives in the summer.
He’s already become buddies with redshirt freshman defensive tackle Vincent Valentine.
“Big Vince, me and him, I think we’re going to dominate the Big Ten at least for the next two years I’m there,” Clinkscales said. “He’s pretty dominant anyway, but I feel like me and him are going to do some monster things together.”
Though Clinkscales was high on some other schools, Nebraska perhaps had the inside track on the big man the moment it extended an offer.
While in high school, he spent time admiring the play of Ndamukong Suh as a Husker.
He’d like to follow in his footsteps.
“He’s dominant. He’s aggressive. That’s what I like.”
He also said really likes the way Bo Pelini and defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski coach their players.
“Coach Bo, he got a lot going against him. It kind of killed me with his situation, because he rides for his players, he’s got their backs 110 percent,” Clinkscales said. “He stands up for the program. He won’t let guys down.”
Clinkscales was among the recruits still in town on Saturday morning when athletic director Shawn Eichorst put out a statement of support for Pelini, quashing speculation that the head coach might be fired.
The recruit said he is surprised that was even a topic.
“This is a guy who wins 70 percent of his games. He is playing right now with a third-string walk-on quarterback. He’s playing with scout-team O-linemen,” Clinkscales said. “What else do you want from the man? When he’s getting people off the scout team and telling people to come up and play and you’re still winning eight games? I mean, I don’t even know what else to say about that.”
The addition of Clinkscales and Waz puts the Huskers at 17 known commits.
Waz was formerly a Colorado Buffaloes commit, but there had been buzz for weeks that he was going to switch his pledge.
The move became official on Sunday.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound defensive back from Pflugerville, Texas, joins high school teammate Trai Mosley on the Husker commit list.
"Nebraska was telling us about life skills and education," Waz told HuskersIllustrated.com. "They want to make us a better person and in a good situation even if we don’t make it to the NFL. Pretty much they want us to get that education and they’ll push us hard to get to the next level.”
The Husker coaches will be pushing hard to get to the next level with this recruiting class over the next two weeks.
Sunday marked the beginning of a two-week, open-contact period for coaches to visit recruits.
It’s especially critical since Dec. 16 begins a month-long dead period when there can be no face-to-face contact between coaches and recruits.
Better get your momentum now.
A four-star defensive tackle can’t hurt.