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On a day last month when not much went right for Nebraska’s football team on the field, Marquis Black still saw something that made quite an impression.

As the Huskers suffered a lopsided prime-time loss to Ohio State on Sept. 28, Black, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive tackle from Georgia, watched in amazement as the Memorial Stadium crowd mostly hung around and supported NU even as it suffered a 48-7 loss.

“Where I come from, if you’re losing, fans leave,” Black said. “You look up in the stands and there ain’t nobody cheering. When I was at Nebraska, I was at the Ohio State game and when they lost, in the fourth quarter, a first down, (the fans) cheered like they had won the Super Bowl or something. It was just crazy.

“That really stood out.”

That’s not the whole reason Black verbally committed to Nebraska on Saturday afternoon, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

“The academic programs, they showed me all of the All-Americans they’ve had there and all of the high grades,” he said. “They push you, and I like that.”

The Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy standout is the 14th member of the Huskers’ 2020 class so far and the fourth to verbally pledge since the season began last month.

He picked Nebraska over Arizona, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Boston College, among others, and is considered a three-star prospect by both 247Sports and Rivals. Black said he’s been recruited by colleges for years and, though some people encouraged him to draw the process out further, he wasn’t interested once he found a school that fit him like the Huskers did.

“I’ve been recruited since ninth grade, I got my first offer at the end of ninth grade, and now in my senior year … I’ve got a feel for most of the coaches,” Black said. “I just feel ready to commit. If you haven’t said anything by now or offered me by now, I really don’t want it.”

Black was recruited primarily by tight ends coach Sean Beckton, who has extensive connections in the Peach State, along with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti and head coach Scott Frost.

The Huskers see Black as a versatile lineman who can play more than one spot along the front line.

“They want me at D-tackle and D-end,” Black said. “So primarily at D-tackle, but like on third down, when they normally take the defensive tackles who can only play defensive tackle out (of the game), they think they can put me at end and go rush the quarterback.”

In Nebraska’s 2020 class, he joins defensive tackle Nash Hutmacher (Chamberlain, South Dakota) on the defensive front line and verbal pledges such as Blaise Gunnerson (Carroll, Iowa) and Rodney Groce (Pleasant Grove, Alabama) as future front-seven players.

Nebraska would still like to add one of Black’s teammates on the offensive side of the ball, too. That’s wide receiver Justin Robinson, who is verbally pledged to Georgia but visited Nebraska officially last week against Northwestern.

“He said the same thing I said,” Black said. “The atmosphere is amazing. Me and him grew up together, playing rec ball and Little League and everything.”

With Black's addition, the Nebraska recruiting class ranks No. 28 in the nation according to 247Sports and No. 34 according to Rivals. 

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (School) Stars
Zavier Betts WR 6-2 190 Omaha (Bellevue West) ****
Marquis Black DL 6-4 280 McDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing) ***
Alex Conn OT 6-6 280 Derby, Kansas ***
Turner Corcoran OT 6-6 280 Lawrence, Kan. (Free State) ****
Ronald Delancy III DB 5-11 190 Miami (Northwestern) ***
Henry Gray DB 6-0 175 Miami (Central) ****
Rodney Groce Jr. ILB 6-2 235 Pleasant Grove, Ala. ***
Blaise Gunnerson OLB 6-5 250 Carroll, Iowa (Kuemper) ***
Nash Hutmacher DT 6-5 305 Chamberlain, South Dakota ***
Tamon Lynum DB 6-2 170 Orlando, Fla. (Evans) ***
Sevion Morrison RB 6-0 200 Tulsa, Oklahoma (Edison) ***
William Nixon WR 5-11 185 Waco, Texas (Midway) ***
Marvin Scott III RB 5-9 205 Port Orange, Fla. (Spruce Creek) ***
Logan Smothers QB 6-2 180 Muscle Shoals, Ala. ****

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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