Isaac Gifford clearly had a difficult choice to make. 

He chose Nebraska. 

The Lincoln Southeast standout defensive back was offered a "blueshirt" arrangement with the Huskers over the weekend and on Monday afternoon tweeted that he decided to take it.

In an interview with the Journal Star, Gifford said he feels a strong sense of relief to have the decision made. He plans to sign with Nebraska on Wednesday and graduate from Southeast on Friday. He will begin classes at NU in January and take part in spring practice.


"It's been a lot of pressure, especially since I decided to wait so dang long to make the decision," he said. "I wanted to make sure I made the right decision, and I wanted to hear what Nebraska had to say. I didn't really know where they stood until about a week ago, and then this past Saturday things became really clear for me."

Gifford met Saturday afternoon with Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and other members of the staff and received the blueshirt offer. A blueshirt means a player begins as a walk-on but becomes a scholarship player in the fall. He is not eligible to play that first year, but also doesn't count against the team's 25-man scholarship limit for the recruiting class. 

Gifford chose Nebraska over full scholarship offers from Wyoming and Air Force. Those were the finalists, he said.

"First of all, this is home," he said. "My brother (Luke Gifford) played here, and it's Nebraska. Things are going to start rolling at Nebraska, and I want to be a part of it."

The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder finished his senior season with 71 tackles, two forced fumbles and one interception. He ran a 4.43-second, 40-yard dash this past summer at Hawks Championship Center and has recorded a 37-inch vertical leap.

"He's a great athlete, but to me he brings more than that in that he's really versatile," Southeast head coach Ryan Gottula said. "He played safety in our defense just because that's where he fit best for us. I think he's athletic enough and physical enough to play safety at the next level. But I also think he could play nickel or if he grows and fills out like Luke did, he might end up being more of an inside linebacker, and he can play every special team.


"Plus, he's a 4.0 (grade-point average) student and really high-character kid. You can never have too many of those type of kids on a team."

The Nebraska staff has told Gifford they see him as a safety who may eventually move into roles closer to the line of scrimmage.

"Maybe something like the dime spot, something like JoJo Domann plays for them," Gifford said.

Nebraska inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud -- in charge of the Huskers' in-state recruiting -- handled the brunt of Gifford's recruitment.

"As it started getting closer to signing day, I started talking to coach (Erik) Chinander quite a bit," Gifford said of the team's defensive coordinator. "I talked to Frost a few times, as well."

Air Force and Wyoming obviously made strong pitches for Gifford's services.

"It's not that I didn't want to go there," he said. "But Nebraska's where I want to play football. It's a hard decision to make."

He said Frost was excited when he told him the news Monday.

"You're seeing a lot of recruits committing to them now, so it's all picking up. They're pretty excited," Gifford said.

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