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Brenden Jaimes

Lake Travis offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes (right) hugs a teammate following a win in the Class 6A Division I state football championship in December.

It had been 9½ months since Brenden Jaimes showed up in Lincoln for the Spring Game weekend, not expecting to commit but taken so much by the experience that he did.

Still, the big offensive tackle from Austin, Texas, found it a "stress reliever" to actually take that next step and sign his letter of intent with Nebraska on Wednesday.

As Signing Day edged closer, local schools such as TCU, Baylor and his hometown Texas Longhorns pursued the lineman who, in the words of one recruiting analyst, had become a "monster" by the end of his senior year.

"There was a point where I had to really think about my future and what was best for me," Jaimes said earlier this week. "Obviously, the outcome was Nebraska, but there was that point in time where being so far away from home was a factor."

With Baylor and Texas having just undergone coaching changes, Jaimes was doing his share of research. The conclusion he came to is that the school where he felt most at home was the one away from home that first won his heart.

It never got to a Code Burnt Orange situation. He said it was about two weeks before his official visit to Lincoln on Jan. 20 when he knew without a doubt what he was doing.

Naturally people at his Lake Travis High School and around town would occasionally ask, Why Nebraska?

"If you haven't visited Nebraska, then I just couldn't explain it to you," Jaimes said.

He is part of a Husker recruiting class with four offensive linemen for the second straight year. In 2016, NU added a crop that included John Raridon, Boe Wilson, Matt Farniok and Bryan Brokop.

This time around, it's Lincoln natives Chris Walker and Broc Bando, as well as Jaimes and Matt Sichterman of Kings Mills, Ohio.

Mike Farrell, national recruiting director for Rivals, brought up both Jaimes and Sichterman on Friday as recruits who could make some noise down the line after bulking up. Nebraska listed Jaimes at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds on Signing Day.

Farrell likes their athleticism and quick feet. Adding some pounds and strength will be key, he said, "but after a couple years in the weight room, you could be hearing from those guys as a big part of the offensive line."

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Jaimes has grown from 215 pounds as a sophomore to where he is now. What he's most proud of, though, and it shows if you watch his film, is his technique.

"I've always been taught to do the best of your ability," Jaimes said. "My coach always tells me to trust your technique. I think that's exactly what I did. I think in the long run, technique is going to get you places, rather than size and strength. Obviously, it's good to have those things, but technique is at the top of your list."

You can see why a player who talks about technique like that would connect with Husker offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, who uses that word more than any other when discussing the craft.

Cavanaugh's strong relationship with Jaimes certainly helped Nebraska's cause, even as other teams tried to make a move on the lineman late.

Jaimes liked Cavanaugh's no-nonsense approach.

"He told me, 'I'm here to be your coach, I'm not your friend.' But off the field, obviously, he's like another father away from home," Jaimes said. "That's always good to hear. That's someone who I'd want to play for."

Nebraska now has 17 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster, with David Knevel, Zach Hannon and Dwayne Johnson the only seniors. That number seems OK with Husker coach Mike Riley.

Whatever the scholarship count may look like, "If we can get good linemen, we are going to take them," Riley said Wednesday.

While it might be a lot to ask any of the O-linemen in this class to contribute immediately in 2017, especially considering none of the four additions from the 2016 class played as true freshmen, Jaimes will arrive in the summer fully motivated.

He's like many this week who are feeling content to have the recruiting process in their rear-view mirror.

"Knowing that Nebraska's the place that's going to be my new home," Jaimes said, "and that's the place that's going to give me a four-to five-year education and football career, just putting that to paper and knowing that is really satisfying."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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