Nebraska recruit Kevin Gladney of Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio visited this last Monday, and left Lincoln as a Husker. Gladney, a 3-star recruit according to Scout, is the first wide receiver and only the third offensive player to join the Huskers. Gladney also had offers from rival Big Ten programs; Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue all pursued him.
Landing Gladney against such stiff competition was a great job by the Husker staff, most notably Vince Marrow.
This makes recruit number nine in what is shaping up to be a very good class. This year's crop ranks 18th in the country according to Scout.com, behind only Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State in the Big Ten.
Gladney said he was blown away by the facilities. As reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, "Everything was just better compared to the places I've been to visit."
In your face, Iowa and Michigan State! Kidding.
Obviously, the great facilities at Nebraska that the athletic department have invested in are paying off in recruiting. According to the same report by LJS, Gladney is done with the recruiting process as he feels that it is disrespectful to give a coach your word and then go and visit other schools.
Gladney said he was also impressed when watching film with receivers coach Rich Fisher.
According to the Omaha World Herald, Gladney said, "I was watching some of their plays and their routes, and I feel can be a mismatch. I know I can also be a decoy out there for my other wideouts and everything...That is what Nebraska football is all about. We'll all be on different routes and one of us is going to get open".
This sounds like a great kid that is willing to put the team above himself. He is not concerned with being the focal point of the offense, but wants to do whatever he can to help the team.
Grade the class of 2013 so far
That being said, it is easy to see Gladney making plays. Watching some video of his high school play, Gladney is elusive, fast and can make great grabs. He is a great addition to the Nebraska receiving corps. He can make plays and distract the other team from focusing on where the ball is actually going.
Gladney joins a group of receivers that is underrated and overlooked. These receivers have speed and elusiveness and could be the most talented receivers Nebraska has ever had. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck is clearly committed to emulating the same passing game he had as passing game coordinator at Kansas in 2007. That team was arguably Kansas' best team in decades, and threw for almost 4000 yards.
Now if the rumors about Taylor Martinez's vast improvement throwing the ball are true, this could be a great year for Nebraska.
Gladney's commitment is the fourth from Ohio and the seventh from Big Ten country. This brings the state totals to Ohio: 4, Nebraska: 1, Indiana: 1, Wisconsin: 1, Louisiana: 1, Texas: 1.
I still maintain that Nebraska needs to keep getting recruits from its traditional recruiting states, like Texas and California, but it is good to see that they can compete with the Big Ten in the heart of Big Ten country for recruits.
As mentioned before Gladney is the first wide receiver to commit, bringing the positions total to wide receiver: 1, tight end: 1, offensive line: 1, defensive line: 2, linebacker: 2, and safety: 2.
This should be a large class for Nebraska, and we can expect that the coaches will get a QB and go after another running back since Aaron Green left the team. Hopefully, we will see some more recruits commit soon.
Until then, GBR!