March 6, 2015

Riley wraps up first recruiting class with big gains on the defense

Mike Riley is pretty happy with his first recruiting class at Nebraska

Mike Riley is pretty happy with his first recruiting class at Nebraska

Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley introduced his first Husker recruiting class on Wednesday. The 2015 signing class includes 20 scholarship players that come from 13 states.Riley was hired at Nebraska on Dec. 4 and he and his staff quickly put together a class that includes 12 on the defensive side.

Riley had to get after three defensive backs ready to enroll early in Avery Anderson and Eric Lee from Colorado and Aaron Williams from Georgia.  That was his first priority. He also stopped over in Blue Springs, Missouri and made sure Carlos and Khalil Davis (6’3, 280/270 respectively) were on board.

Riley said selling the University of Nebraska to recruits was a rewarding experience for him and his staff.  In a release from the NU Athletics Department, Riley said:

”I think kids also, and especially parents who have input, look at the big picture of going to college and what does this university have to offer. This is where Nebraska is off the charts. The resources for young men here, academic support, life skills, nutrition, just go down the line in all of those things and it is at a high, high level. So they’re joining a place that really knows what it is talking about when it is talking about student athletes and what you can accomplish here. That part of it, that is pretty easy.”

2015 Scholarship Recruits

Lavan Alston WR 5/11 173 CA
Avery Anderson S 6/1 172 CO
Jalin Barnett OL 6/4 315 OK
Mohamed Barry LB 6/1 210 GA
Alex Davis DE 6/5 220 FL
Carlos Davis DT 6/3 280 MO
Khalil Davis DT 6/3 270 MO
Michael Decker OL 6/4 280 NE
Tyrin Ferguson LB 6/2 205 LA
Christian Gaylord OL 6/6 270 KS
Eric Lee CB 5/10 175 CO
Stanley Morgan WR 6/1 185 LA
DaiShon Neal DE 6/7 240 NE
Jordan Ober LS 6/0 190 NV
Devine Ozigbo RB 5/11 225 TX
Antonio Reed LB 6/2 210 MS
Matt Snyder TE 6/5 245 CA
Adrienne Talan LB 6/1 205 FL
Aaron Williams DB 5/11 185 GA
Dedrick Young ATH 6/1 215 AZ

8 walk-ons 
Fyn Anderson DL 6-3 260 NE
Jared Brugmann LB 6/2 225 NE
Brody Cleveland LB 6/2 220 NE
Austin Hemphill FB 6/0 220 NE
Reid Karel QB 6/3 190 NE
Wyatt Mazour RB 5/9 190 NE
Jacob Weinmaster LB 6/0 200 CO
Conor Young ATH 6/1 170 NE

Husker signing day off to a bang (updated 9 a.m)

nebraska_cornhuskers-helmet-logo2015 Signing Day is here and names continue to roll in from student-athletes committed to the Nebraska football program under first year head coach Mike Riley.  Here are the bios of those who have signed letters from Huskers.com

1. Avery Anderson is one of four defensive standouts who joined the Nebraska program in January. Anderson was regarded as one of the top prospects from Colorado and among the nation’s top defensive back recruits. Anderson helped Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs to consecutive Class 4A state championships.

Pine Creek posted a perfect 14-0 record in 2014 as Anderson starred in all three areas of the game. As a defensive back, he recorded three interceptions, while making 52 tackles, including six tackles for loss. Anderson also contributed on offense, rushing for 226 yards and a touchdown, while catching 16 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown. He also handled kickoff return duties for Coach Todd Miller.

Anderson was an All-Colorado choice by the Denver Post for his play in 2014, and he was a first-team Class 4A choice by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

In helping the Eagles to the 2013 Class 4A state title as a junior, Anderson was named a first-team all-state free safety by the CHSAA. He also earned all-league and all-region recognition after totaling 53 tackles, one interception and three breakups while leading Pine Creek to its first state championship and a 12-2 record. Offensively, Anderson had 53 carries for 386 yards and eight touchdowns.

Anderson was a consensus four-star prospect, and he was rated as the No. 2 player in Colorado, behind fellow early enrollee Eric Lee Jr. Anderson was a member of the Rivals250, coming in at No. 224 on the list of the nation’s top prospects. Additionally, the service ranked Anderson as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback, while Scout.com listed him among the top 35 safeties in the country and 247Sports ranked him among the top 40 athletes nationally. In May, Anderson earned defensive back MVP honors at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago.

Anderson committed to Nebraska in February of 2014, after considering offers from Arizona State, Kansas State and Utah, among others. Anderson is the son of Killian and Angela Anderson, and he was born on Sept. 11, 1996.

2. Oklahoma product Jalin Barnett is regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive guard prospects after a standout career at Lawton High School. Barnett is Nebraska’s first signee from the state of Oklahoma since Phillip Dillard and Craig Roark in 2005. Barnett played at the same high school that produced former Husker greats Mike Minter and Will Shields.

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Two former Huskers named to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Will Shields (photo/KCChiefs.com)

Will Shields (photo/KCChiefs.com)

A pair of former Nebraska offensive line greats were among eight individuals selected to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2015 class of inductees.  Mick Tingelhoff was a standout center for the Minnesota Vikings following his Nebraska career, while Will Shields followed his Husker career by becoming a perennial All-Pro for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The announcement of the Hall’s 2015 class came on Saturday evening in Arizona as part of the NFL’s Super Bowl weekend. Tingelhoff was chosen for induction by the Hall’s senior committee, while Shields was elected in his fourth season as a modern-era Hall of Fame finalist.

They are joined in the 2015 class by Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Junior Seau and contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. The class of 2015 will enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.

Tingelhoff and Shields will become the fourth and fifth Nebraska players to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The duo joins Guy Chamberlin, Roy “Link” Lyman and Bob Brown as Nebraska players to be a part of the Hall of Fame. Brown was the most recent Husker inductee, being enshrined in the Hall in 2004.

Former Husker football player Thenarse arrested over the weekend

Ricky Thenarse

Ricky Thenarse

Former Nebraska football player Rickey Thenarse was arrested on burglary charges early Saturday morning after an alleged break-in at an apartment complex on Lincoln’s  northeast side.

According to the Lincoln Police Department report, officers responded to a call at 12:40 a.m. from a 22-year-old woman who complained someone she did not know was banging on her front door.  She called police back to inform them the person was inside her apartment as she hid in a closet.

She opened up the door when police arrived and they chased a man out her back patio door.  Thenarse tried to drive off in a maroon Ford Thunderbird, but was apprehended by police.  The woman’s apartment was trashed.

Thenarse started ten games over five seasons (2006-2010) with the Huskers. A native of Los Angeles, Thenarse also had a warrant issued Jan. 15 for his arrest for failing to pay fines after pleading no contest in November 2014 to a misdemeanor charge of stealing less than $300 in money or goods.

Pierson-El named Freshman All-American for special teams

De'Mornay Pierson-El (Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations)

De’Mornay Pierson-El (Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations)

De’Mornay Pierson-El was named the punt returner on the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America team.

Pierson-El returned 34 punts for 596 yards in 2014, returning three punts for touchdowns while averaging 17.5 yards per return. Pierson-El led the nation with his 596 return yards, 194 more yards than any other returner. He also tied for the national lead with his three punt returns for touchdowns, while ranking second in punt return average. Pierson-El led all freshmen nationally in punt return yards, punt return average and punt return touchdowns. He boasted two of the nation’s eight-longest punt returns in 2014, and he was the only player in the country with a pair of 80-yard returns.

A native of Alexandria, Va., Pierson-El set Nebraska freshman records for longest punt return, most punt return yards, most punt return touchdowns and highest punt return average. Overall, Pierson-El’s 596 punt return yards ranked third in school history, while his three punt return touchdowns tied 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers for the second-highest total in Husker history.