College volleyball recruiting hasn’t reached the level of college football, which now has some recruits making elaborate videos to announce their college commitments. The video announcements' predecessor, of course, was the choosing of a school’s hat off a table.
But in Nebraska volleyball, the creativity of the recruiting process has gone up a notch in the past year. The Husker coaching staff let one recently committed player, Capri Davis from Mansfield, Texas, know she had a scholarship offer by writing her name in the sand in Hawaii and sending her a photo of that. One recruit, Jazz Sweet from Topeka, Kansas, sent balloons and a giant cookie to the NU coaches to let them know she was committing to the Huskers and to thank them.
Riley Zuhn from Fort Collins, Colorado, who committed to the Huskers on Monday, also had a fun way to hint of her upcoming commitment.
But first you should know Zuhn is one of the top prospects in the nation, albeit one you’ll have to wait several years to see play for the Huskers. The 6-foot-5 outside hitter is only a high school freshman and is the first player known to have committed for the Huskers’ 2019 class.
Zuhn picked the Huskers over some other top programs.
She began to share her news with the Husker staff last weekend. She’s had this water bottle with stickers representing the five schools she would one day choose from: Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, Texas and Florida.
She sent NU assistant coach Dani Busboom Kelly a photo of that water bottle and said it was time to start pulling off some of those stickers. Zuhn said she’d soon be calling NU coach John Cook.
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Then Zuhn called Cook on Monday and said she wanted to be a Husker. She waited one day to go public with her decision so she could call the other coaches who had been recruiting her.
Zuhn plays at Fossil Ridge High school, where she was the conference player of the year as a freshman. She also plays for the NORCO volleyball club. She made the list of the best 59 freshmen in the country by Prepvolleyball.com.
Zuhn made an unofficial visit to Nebraska last fall.
“When I was on campus in October, I knew that it felt right and that I was going to end up going to go to Nebraska,” Zuhn said. “I spent a couple of months waiting because my parents wanted me to wait. They didn’t want me to accept the offer when I was on campus. I’ve just been waiting, and the recruiting process was kind of overwhelming at times. It was kind of becoming a chore to call the other coaches when I knew I wanted to go to Nebraska 100 percent. So I committed, and it’s been really exciting and relieving to be done with the process.”
For the past 1½ years, Zuhn said, she’s been visiting colleges.
“When I was on campus (at Nebraska), before I even got to the volleyball game, at the football game I was looking around and thinking, ‘These are my people,'” Zuhn said. “I love the fan support that the volleyball team gets, and it’s a great school. Something felt right, and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”