Husker football coaches had known about their significant recruiting win for some time, but Wednesday, the running back who once scored eight touchdowns in a game let it be known to all.
Terrell Newby was going to Nebraska.
The top-rated running back in California made his announcement official at West Hills Chaminade High School, picking NU over UCLA.
"UCLA did a good job of coming in and recruiting me, but Nebraska recruited me all along and stuck with me,” the highly touted back told HuskerOnline.com. “They told me I was a top priority for them and they never fell off in their recruitment of me."
For those fans that eat and breathe recruiting, the announcement brought the sort of giddiness few other recent Husker commitments can match.
There’s good reason. In this recruiting class of 20 pledges, NU now has commitments from arguably the best running backs in California and Texas.
Adam Taylor of Katy, Texas, committed to NU back in November.
All Taylor did was rush for 2,754 yards and 44 touchdowns this season while leading his team to the Texas Class 5A Division II state championship.
Now enter Newby and his ridiculous numbers. He scored 45 touchdowns and rushed for 2,305 yards, including 360 in the game when he scored eight TDs.
The proof of that night can be found on YouTube.
During his prep career, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Newby visited the end zone 105 times.
A member of the top 4x100-meter relay teams in southern California, Newby’s speed jumps out when watching game film.
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“Newby is a small back that runs big. He has track speed and can run away from most defenders in the open field, but he has better change of direction and shiftiness than most track stars,” FOX Sports scouting director Scott Kennedy told BigRedReport.com. “Despite his size, Newby isn't afraid to run between the tackles or initiate contact. A defense must defend the entire width of the field against him. He'll never be a power back, but he's tough and strong enough to keep a defense honest.”
Husker assistant coaches Rich Fisher and Ron Brown were critical in Newby's recruitment.
It's believed that Newby was close to committing to Cal last summer before Fisher helped convince him to attend a Big Red Weekend event in Lincoln.
Newby liked it so much he came back for an official visit for the Idaho State game in September.
“I wasn't even playing that day and I was all hyped up after watching it,” Newby told BigRedReport. “In the game, I saw how Nebraska utilized their running backs and how they like to get them out into space. Nebraska really wants to put speed on the field and I can see myself in their offense.”
Rated as a four-star recruit, Rivals.com ranks Newby the eighth-best running back nationally this year, with Fox Sports Next having him 17th, and 247Sports slotting him 23rd.
Certainly his commitment improves Nebraska's class in the recruiting ratings. NU’s class jumped from 28th to 21st in Rivals' national rankings and from 22nd to 17th in the 247Sports composite team rankings.
And after Newby’s pledge, Nebraska’s average star ranking per recruit according to Fox Sports Next is 3.4, which is better than Oregon, Oklahoma, Florida State and Stanford.
Nebraska still has work to do in a class that could have at least five more additions before national signing day in three weeks.
But the Huskers certainly have already made a dent in California, picking off one of the top quarterbacks in Johnny Stanton and now the top back.
The most impressive thing, Rivals West coast regional analyst Adam Gorney told HuskerOnline, is that Newby has put up all his numbers against tough competition.
"I know the Nebraska coaches loved Newby from early on, kept recruiting him and so this is a big-time get for the program,” Gorney said. “He's someone who has the speed to beat Big Ten defenses and the durability to stay healthy."