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Arakaki hoping to become next Hawaiian to make impact for Husker baseball
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HUSKER BASEBALL

Arakaki hoping to become next Hawaiian to make impact for Husker baseball

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No, Jadon Arakaki didn't know who Shane Komine was until Nebraska's baseball coaches told him about the Husker legend during the recruiting process.

But he knows now. And Nebraska is hoping he can follow in the footsteps of the last Hawaiian to make his name on the diamond at Haymarket Park.

Arakaki announced Wednesday he was verbally committing to the Huskers, ending a quick recruitment that saw his pledge come only about a week after NU extended an offer.

The 6-foot, 175-pound outfielder is the 13th member of Nebraska's 2021 recruiting class — a class that includes seven Nebraskans, one Canadian, and now, a Hawaiian.

"The environment there looked just super-fun, to play in front of and just be a part of," said Arakaki, who lives in the Honolulu suburb of Aiea. "I heard the community there is really nice, and all the people are super-good people And the coaches, they made me feel like they really wanted me."

Komine was the last Hawaiian to don a Husker uniform, wrapping up his NU career in 2002 as one of the most beloved athletes in school history — a player who still holds several NU records and helped lead Nebraska to its highest highs as a program.

But those days came before Arakaki, who is a senior at 'Iolani School in Honolulu, was even born. So forgive him if he isn't up to date on a player at a place that Arakaki thought was "just in the middle of nowhere and it's a bunch of cornfields" before digging deeper into what NU and Lincoln had to offer.

"It (the recruiting process) happened pretty quickly," Arakaki said. "They offered me maybe a week ago, and I've just been thinking about it since, and I just decided to accept it because it seemed like the right place to go."

Arakaki posted a 6.60-second 60-yard dash at a showcase event in Hawaii in late July, and coupled that with a left-handed swing that caught Nebraska's eye.

"They (NU coaches) said I fit their needs because they were looking for another left-handed hitter," Arakaki said. "they like the fact that I had some speed and I could run, steal some bags."

Much like Komine, Arakaki won't necessarily blow anyone away with his physical stature. But if he makes it to Lincoln and translates his skills to the college level, he could be on the path toward becoming the next Hawaiian to affect games for the Huskers.

"I think if you can steal bases and you're a threat on the bases, that will put a lot of pressure on the defense," Arakaki said. "And it will take their focus off the batter and they're going to be thinking about you."

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker men's basketball/baseball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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