Based on his high school coach’s description, Caleb Tannor does not exactly fit the stereotypes of a high school football prospect in 2018.
He’s not really connected to his phone all the time, says Justin Larmond, who coached the four-star linebacker prospect and Nebraska signee at Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Georgia.
He’s not keen on doing interviews — he hasn’t done one since National Signing Day, it appears — and doesn’t pay much heed to the attention that comes with being among the highest-profile signees in Scott Frost’s first class at Nebraska.
Make no mistake about it, though: Tannor is planning on making some noise when he arrives on campus.
“Oh, no doubt,” Larmond said. “Caleb has every intention on coming in and contributing. He’s got to get through some things and make sure he’s doing everything he needs to be doing to contribute. He sees an opportunity to make an impact and come in and play.
“He wants to be that guy. He wants to be part of that process immediately.”
If all goes according to plan, that process will start in Lincoln sooner rather than later. Larmond said Tannor needs to "keep his grades where they need to be" through the closing weeks of high school, but added that he’s among the group of prospects that is slated to arrive on campus here before May is out, moving in around Memorial Day.
When Tannor arrives, he will be thrown into one of the most wide-open position battles on the roster.
Nebraska has no shortage of options at outside linebacker, but at the moment perhaps no clear-cut, shoo-in starters, either.
Ole Miss transfer Breon Dixon gained immediate eligibility officially on Thursday but is learning a new position. Luke Gifford is recovering from hip surgery and missed spring ball, though he expressed confidence during the spring game in his ability to be ready when summer conditioning starts in June.
Tyrin Ferguson and Collin Miller both drew praise for consistent springs. Alex Davis was a three-sack force in the spring game. Pernell Jefferson, Guy Thomas and Quayshon Alexander all showed flashes but are lesser-known quantities at this point.
Tannor will join the group along with three-star David Alston, a rangy signee who was the top-ranked player in the state of Minnesota for the 2018 class.
“We need outside pass rushers,” Frost said flatly in February. “Caleb is the type of guy who can rush the passer from the outside, but he’s also athletic enough to make plays in space. We had a kid like that in Shaquem Griffin (at Central Florida), and we’re looking forward to having that dynamic player here and I hope we got it.”
Tannor was listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds in high school, and that’s about where Larmond figures he’ll play in the fall.
“Right now he’s getting into the condition that he needs to be at,” Larmond said. “I don’t think they’re going to put too much more weight on him. Maybe 230. Just the summer to get acclimated to the way they work out and the eating habits and that stuff. They’ll probably run some of it off and then put back on better weight, so I think that’ll probably be around his playing weight this year as a freshman.”
At his signing ceremony in February, Tannor listed early playing time and a connection with the coaching staff as main reasons he chose the Huskers over several SEC suitors.
He hasn’t talked much publicly since, but Larmond said that notion’s only grown stronger in the months leading up to the heralded prospect’s arrival here.
“He’s doing everything so he can get to campus and get to where he’s in position to compete,” Larmond said.