Newby could give Huskers quite a stable of backs

2013-01-11T23:50:00Z 2013-02-08T21:28:09Z Newby could give Huskers quite a stable of backsBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The proof is there in cyberspace of the night Terrell Newby, Nebraska's newest running back recruit, had 360 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

Yes, that's eight times striking up the band.

But here's something Newby's high school coach, Ed Croson, says that doesn't usually get mentioned in regards to that game.

Newby did it on just 16 carries. And he did it in less than three quarters against a team that was ranked fourth in its division and made it to the state playoff quarterfinals.

In fact, Croson said, there was a three-game stretch where Newby was scoring a touchdown on basically every other carry.

Then there was the time when an opposing coach came up to Croson to pass on a story about Newby.

"What happened?" the opposing coach recalled asking one of his players after a Newby lightning strike.

Said the player: "Coach, he was there. And then all of a sudden he was gone."

Then there was the game Newby carried the ball 41 times for West Hills Chaminade in California because it was just one of those nights when the star has to put the team on his back and run into the line that many times.

"So that's a pretty versatile guy, that he has enough on him to get away and have big games like the one for 360 yards," Croson said. "But then at the same time, he can endure 41 carries."

Understand, it is recruiting season, when 18-year-old kids are built into all-world players, but there was good reason Husker fans were giddy  Wednesday when Newby said he was going to Nebraska.

NU has commitments from the top-rated running back in California and one of the best backs in Texas — Adam Taylor, who committed in November.

Assuming both sign with Nebraska, the Huskers seem to be loaded with talent at running back, with Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard and Imani Cross already proven in the program.

Alas, there's just one football. What's a young back to make of all that competition?

"I don't think he worries about that too much," Croson said of Newby. "Also, I don't think he's the kind of guy who feels threatened by what others do. If you play well enough, it doesn't matter how many running backs they have. They're going to find a way to get you on the field. And he can play a lot of positions. He was a tremendous receiver. He was probably our best receiver."

Croson heard about Newby's potential when he was in eighth grade. Then Newby showed up and proved the talk was more than just talk.

When he was a sophomore, Chaminade had an all-league back. By season's end, Newby had almost twice as many yards as that guy.

By his senior year, Newby had rushed for 2,305 yards and 45 touchdowns, attracting attention from big-time schools.

But Nebraska had gotten in on him early, Croson said, with assistants Rich Fisher and Ron Brown leading the charge.

"When you get to the top 20 schools, Nebraska is always there. They're all good schools, so it's hard to make a bad choice in that neighborhood," Croson said. "So they got him because they pushed it enough. They were on him early and then they stayed on him and developed a relationship with him. That's what we tell our guys: Find a place where you feel like you fit."

It didn't hurt that there were some Husker connections there.

"Believe it or not, Cornhusker fingers get all over the country and we got a bunch of them out here too," Croson said. "We have kids on the team that he actually plays with that are from Nebraska. There were enough people with Nebraska connections in our organization — I'd say four or five — that I think that may have helped a little bit, too."

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

Copyright 2015 JournalStar.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.