Haircuts were being offered for $5, and you better believe Tanner Farmer got in line.
Some of the other football prospects at “The Opening” camp asked for the swoosh logo to be cut into their hair.
Predictable, given the setting -- Nike headquarters in Oregon. But Farmer decided to be his own man.
“I asked the guy, ‘Hey, can you do the Nebraska ‘N’ in my head?’” Farmer said. “He’s like, ‘Sure, I just need to bring up the logo. That way I know what it looks like.’ So he brought it up and I’m like, ‘Yep, let’s do that.’ It turned out great.”
You might say a recruit is strongly committed to a school when he asks a barber to cut the team’s logo in his hair.
That should please Husker fans. So should the reviews Farmer received from recruiting analysts who watched the camp that featured 162 of the top prospects in the country.
The Nebraska recruit from Highland, Ill., came in at 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds, then proceeded to post some of the best testing numbers of any offensive lineman there and win way more one-on-one battles than he lost against elite D-line prospects.
“Coming out there, I thought he’d do well, but you never know with a guy stepping up the competition level that much,” said Allen Trieu, a national recruiting analyst for FoxSportsNext who attended the event. “And he definitely proved he belongs with the best in the country. I thought, if you looked at the top group of top offensive lineman, I thought he definitely would have been in the top 10.”
While Trieu saw other O-linemen at the camp with better quickness and footwork, he said Farmer proved to be one of the strongest.
“And he’s definitely above-average in all the rest of the areas,” Trieu said. “He definitely looks the part.”
It was in the run-blocking drills that Trieu said Farmer “really excelled and took over” with his strength.
At the camp, Farmer also ran a 40-yard dash time of 5.27 seconds and a shuttle time of :04.78. His SPARQ number -- tests for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness -- was 96.45, which ranked him third among offensive linemen.
Trieu was sure it turned some heads.
“His name is certainly rising, but from talking to him, I don’t think Nebraska has anything to worry about at all,” he said.
The camp should only add confidence to Farmer, who also was named the O-line MVP at a Rivals camp in the St. Louis area back in mid-April.
“I got to really test myself and stack up against everybody,” Farmer said. “This really brought out what I need to work on, so I know what I need to get after and I’m going to start really working on it.”
In particular, Farmer said he wants to improve his footwork and find a sharper focal point in pass protection and not get caught leaning as much.
It seems Farmer is his own worst critic.
“I honestly, in my opinion, thought I could have done better. Unless I win all my reps, I’m not happy, you know,” he said. “I hate losing and I didn’t want to lose. So if I lose a rep, I feel like I didn’t do my best and I could have done better.”
* Talking with Phillips: How much does a Husker recruit pay attention to the stories of new additions to the recruiting class?
While Farmer doesn’t have the name of every Nebraska recruit committed to memory, he keeps track best he can whenever a new one pledges to the Huskers.
He also keeps in touch with one who so far hasn’t.
Farmer said one recruit he does communicate with is Millard West’s Harrison Phillips, who recently received an offer from Nebraska but has not yet announced his decision, with offers from schools such as Stanford, UCLA and Kansas State on the table.
“He’s a good kid,” Farmer said. “I know him pretty well.”
* 'It just happened': There was a lot of fun made with the fact one of Nebraska's two commitments on July 4 was named Freedom.
Tight end Freedom Akinmoladun of Grandview, Mo., said there was no special plan to announce on that day. In fact, he admits he was close to committing during his visit to Lincoln on Big Red Weekend on June 15.
“I don’t now how that worked out,” he said of committing on such a fitting day. “It just happened.”
Akinmoladun certainly is no stranger to the state of Nebraska. His mom's family is from Omaha. His cousin, Oladapo, is a hurdler on the Husker track team. His brother, Olukayode, is an offensive lineman for Nebraska-Kearney.
There were times when he said he had “kind of a weird feeling” about sharing the same school as family. But in the end, he saw the advantages.
While hoping to be a big target for the Huskers to utilize in the passing game, the 6-4, 240-pound Akinmoladun said the relationship he developed with Barney Cotton, now coaching the tight ends, was critical in his commitment.
“Most coaches will tell you stuff that you want to hear. He told you stuff that was really truthful,” Akinmoladun said. “There was no B.S. when he was talking.”
* Monte keeps cool: Nebraska picked up a much-coveted wide receiver recruit Thursday in Monte Harrison, a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com.
Husker baseball coach Darin Erstad also picked up a talented outfielder prospect – talented enough that he’s a likely candidate to get drafted in next year’s Major League Baseball draft.
Yes, it could possibly be another one of those situations for Husker coaches to sweat out again.
Among other things, the 6-3, 200-pound Harrison’s summer plans include a trip to Cary, N.C., to play in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars.
Jay Meyer, his baseball coach at Lee's Summit (Mo.) West, said prior to Harrison’s commitment to Nebraska that any school that wouldn’t allow Harrison to play both football and baseball might as well not even bother recruiting him.
And, oh, yeah, Harrison is also pretty good on the hardwood. It runs in the family. His brother, Shaquille, was the starting point guard as a true freshman this past season for Tulsa.
Despite all the recruit hoopla, Meyer recently told USAbaseball.com that Harrison always seems to keep a level head.
"Stuff around him goes extremely quickly 12 months out of the year," Meyer told the website. "You know, baseball, then a lot of high-profile basketball stuff, and you've got combines, every time I turn around there's who's-who in Division I football walking through the building with our football coach.
"Sometimes you think he'd get tired of it, and yet he just kind of keeps himself grounded."
* Rankings check: After all the activity late last week – three new commitments and one decommitment – Nebraska is ranked 37th nationally by Rivals.com, 39th in the 247Sports composite rankings and 47th by FoxSportsNext.
Nebraska should get a minor bump when a few commitments on its list who aren’t yet rated are evaluated by the sites.
Akinmoladun, for instance, is rated only by 247Sports. And other recruits, such Mick Stoltenberg, Trai Mosley and running back Larenzo Stewart, are also yet to be rated by various sites.