Big Red nation should be all smiles right now because Josh Banderas will be attending Saturday's spring game as a commit instead of a prospect.
Although a pending commitment from the senior Lincoln Southwest linebacker was more of a when rather than an if, it was a big relief and a major win when he gave the Cornhuskers his pledge Thursday.
The 6'2", 220-pound athlete, who is the top player in the state and is rated the 185th-best player in the nation by Rivals.com, made the decision after a meeting with head coach Bo Pelini.
Though it would have been extremely surprising to see Banderas sign anywhere else, it was an affirmation that the Huskers will still get the state's top talent despite spending most of their time recruiting nationwide.
Beyond that, Banderas' decision was great timing for Nebraska in multiple ways.
Though he only had six offers so far, Banderas would have inevitably gained more attention from bigger programs the longer he waited, which would have meant fiercer recruiting battles. With Banderas now on board, the coaches can concentrate their time a little more on some of the top out-of-state prospects.
Even better, Banderas also stated in a post-commitment interview he felt he "should commit now and start helping to get other guys to come to Nebraska," much like Michael Rose did last year after being one of the 2012 class's first commits. It can never hurt to have one of your guys reaching out to other recruits.
Once Banderas arrives on campus, he should be a great addition to what looks like a greatly improving linebacker corps. He has a great combination of size and speed with the frame to pack on some muscle, which will be important in the Big Ten. He has the strength and instincts to fill holes and stone a ball carrier and the speed to stick with tight ends and running backs running routes. He also has pretty good hands.
Banderas is Nebraska's third commitment for 2013. This includes Tre'vell Dixon, who seems likely to decommit if and when the home state LSU Tigers decide to offer, so be prepared for it). He should be a great addition to what could turn out to be Pelini's best defensive class since he's been here.