Friday Night Lights, 6.14

Blaise Gunnerson (left) gets ready to participate in blocking drills June 14 during the annual Friday Night Lights camp at Memorial Stadium.

Meet the players who plan to don Husker red in the coming years.

High school profile

My school: Kuemper High School.

City profile: Carroll, Iowa, has a population of about 9,800 and is about 2½ hours from Lincoln. Kuemper plays in Iowa’s third-largest class.

Players from his team with NCAA Division I offers: 1.

Number of players out for football: 70.

This week: Kuemper has a 1-0 record going into Friday’s game against South Central Calhoun. In Week 1 Gunnerson had 54 yards receiving and a quarterback sack in Kuemper's 27-3 win against St. Albert.

Player profile

Height/weight: 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds.

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Positions: Defensive end and tight end.

Rankings: Rivals.com ranks Gunnerson as a three-star prospect as a defensive end and the No. 6 overall player in Iowa. He committed to Nebraska on July 2.

Coach's point of view

Kuemper coach Chad Klein shares some stories about Gunnerson:

The best play I’ve seen: “Last week he came out after taking a year off (for a hip injury) and once he got settled back into the game he came off the edge really hard. He had a sack, but he ran through the running back to get to that sack, so he took a block head-on and went right through it and made a nice tackle. It was great technique and showed everything that we’ve been working on and everything he’s learned from camps and things. Just a great fundamental play.”

Late bloomer to Division I prospect: “His brothers were all really good athletes, but to gain the size and the speed and the athleticism to get recruited to like a Nebraska or places like that takes a special kind of athlete, and you don’t necessarily always think that a kid at a younger age like that will go that way. He really developed and did a lot of hard work even after the injury to put himself in a spot to be recruited.”

The first player from his school to earn an NCAA Division I football scholarship in at least 20 years (there have been a few walk-ons, including Gunnerson’s brother, Gage, a tight end at Iowa State): “It’s great. It’s a great opportunity to get exposure to all of your other kids. It helps bring a little more excitement around the program.”

-- Brent C. Wagner 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or bwagner@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.


Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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