Thomas Grayson saw everything he needed to this weekend and decided there was no reason to put off a decision any longer.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma, running back received an offer from Nebraska on March 29, visited campus the first chance he got and gave his verbal commitment to the program Monday evening.
Grayson, rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, said he had really just planned on taking in the junior day and learning as much as he could about the program, but as Saturday progressed, he felt more and more convinced that he had found his future home.
Like many before him, the Tunnel Walk sealed the deal.
"Throughout the whole day really, the vibe, you could just really feel it," Grayson told the Journal Star on Monday. "Right when I walked out, they had music playing and you walk down through the tunnel and out on to the field. It just gave me chills and made me want to be a Husker."
Grayson, listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds on his Hudl profile, helped Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa to a state championship as a junior, leading the Hornets to a 12-1 record.
Grayson rushed for 1,332 yards (7.7 per carry) and 17 touchdowns on the year. It was his first crack at being Washington's featured back because he broke his right ankle in a preseason scrimmage in 2016, scuttling his entire sophomore campaign.
Needless to say, proving himself on the biggest stage Oklahoma high school football has to offer gave him a big shot of confidence.
"It felt amazing," he said of his individual and team accomplishments as a junior. "I can just only imagine what it would feel like to do that at Nebraska."
Grayson is also an accomplished sprinter and is rounding back into form after the injury. He said his personal best in the 100 meters is 10.74 seconds this spring. As a freshman in 2016, he was second at the Class 6A state championships in 10.82.
Those numbers supplemented his game tape nicely in the eyes of NU running backs coach Ryan Held.
"They love speed, they really emphasize that," Grayson said. "(Held) thinks I can be a real versatile back for them. Their whole offense is really keyed on the back. The back plays an important role. He wanted me to be that guy."
Grayson is the fourth verbal commitment for Nebraska's 2019 class and the first to come from outside the state's boarders. He joins linebacker Garrett Nelson (Scottsbluff), athlete Garrett Snodgrass (York) and defensive lineman Ethan Piper (Norfolk Catholic) as the early foundation of the class.
Grayson also had offers from Tennessee, Texas Tech, Syracuse, Tulsa and others and his recruitment was gaining steam after his first full season as a starter.
By the time Grayson received his offer from Held, it was too late for him to make NU's first spring junior day on March 31. He wasted little time making it to campus, though, arriving for April 7's junior day. He took in practice alongside several other prospects and more than 110 former players.
After practice, Held explained what he wants prospective running backs to glean when they have the chance to see a practice.
"I want them by me," he said. "I want them to know what they're dealing with if they come here. They're going to deal with all of us, but I'm going to be the position coach. The thing we're going to do here is we're not going to be car salesmen. What you saw out there today, those guys, that's how we are. We're not putting on an act because 100 former players are there or recruits or anything. If you came out here and there was nobody in the indoor (practice facility) but us, that's how we'd be.
"It's nice having more people in here and getting you a little more juiced up, but I don't care if we're in a parking lot, I'm still going to go out there and try to get these guys right and coach with enthusiasm."
Grayson clearly liked what he saw.
Running back recruiting is always interesting to watch and how the rest of the 2019 class comes together for the Huskers will be telling.
Two other backs — three-star Breece Hall (Wichita, Kansas) and four-star Rahmir Johnson (Oradell, New Jersey) have also already visited unofficially this spring.
NU has two seniors on the current roster in Devine Ozigbo and Mikale Wilbon and there is still uncertainty surrounding the health of junior Tre Bryant. So while Held has a multitude of backfield options to sort through between now and the fall, it's also a position that he will undoubtedly continue to recruit hard with an eye on the future.
As for Grayson, he's making a return trip to Lincoln for the Red-White Spring Game on April 21. The empty stadium gave him chills this past weekend, and he's excited to see what it feels like with more than 85,000 people jammed in.
Not only that, but he'll attend knowing that Memorial Stadium is his future home.
"I’m really excited," he said. "It feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I don’t have to worry about anything anymore."