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Blaise Gunnerson commit: What does it mean for Nebraska?

Nebraska continued its string of big defensive commits as Blaise Gunnerson made the call to be a Husker on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end/outside linebacker out of Carroll, Iowa announced his commitment to the Huskers via Twitter. Gunnerson picked NU over offers from in-state schools Iowa State and Iowa, as well as Kansas State, Minnesota and others. Gunnerson becomes the 7th known verbal commit in Nebraska's 2020 recruiting class.

Here are some quick takes on what the commitment of Gunnerson means for the Huskers.

The Nebraska football team secured another big defensive commitment with the addition of Iowa DE/OLB Blaise Gunnerson.
The Nebraska football team secured another big defensive commitment with the addition of Iowa DE/OLB Blaise Gunnerson. (Nate Clouse)

1. Nebraska won an important recruiting battle against its neighbors to the East with the addition of Iowa native Blaise Gunnerson. The talented pass rusher was wanted badly by both Iowa State and Iowa, which never makes it easy to pull a player of his caliber away from his home. You have to give defensive coordinator Erik Chinander a lot of credit for the work he put into recruiting Gunnerson to the Huskers.

2. The Big Red has been extremely active in its recruitment of Iowa prospects since Scott Frost arrived in Lincoln. They have now been able to land important commits from the state in back-to-back years by signing defensive lineman Mosai Newsom in 2019 and now Gunnerson in 2020. Having those two players on the roster should only help Nebraska's efforts in getting more from the state going forward, especially in the 2021 class where the Huskers have already extended early offers to seven Iowa prospects.

3. The addition of Gunnerson gives NU five commits in its 2020 class from inside the all-important 500-mile radius. Nebraska was able to fill out nearly half of its 2019 class with prospects inside the 500-mile radius and are now in a great position to do that yet again. The Huskers will always have to be a team that recruits nationally, but being able to routinely snag at least half of its class with some of the best players from the Midwest is certainly ideal.

4. I feel like the Huskers are getting a complete steal in Gunnerson. The talented prospect was forced to miss his entire junior season with a torn labrum in his right hip, which required surgery to fix. There's no doubt Gunnerson would have had a lot more attention surrounding his recruitment if it had not been for the unknowns surrounding his injury and simply not being able to put together any junior season highlights. In the end, the teams that believed in his abilities enough to show him a lot of attention, regardless of his injury, were rewarded with the best shot at landing him and Nebraska won out.

5. If there was any doubt about Gunnerson's ability to recover from his injury, they were squashed after his performance at Nebraska's Friday Night Lights camp in mid-June. First of all, at all of 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, he's in phenomenal physical shape. He doesn't have a shred of bad weight on him. Then, not only did he show off his ability to operate in space dropping into pass coverage and working the flats as an outside linebacker, but he also showed his great explosiveness off the edge as a defensive end.

6. Gunnerson is a natural pass rusher, whether it's with his hand in the dirt of coming off the edge from a two-point stance. He has a great first step off the line and has a number of different speed and power pass rush moves. He uses his hands extremely well already, which is something you don't always see from players at this level. His combination of size, strength and speed should allow him to see the field early on in his college career at Nebraska.

7. As I mentioned above, Gunnerson worked out at Nebraska's Friday Night Lights camp. That tells you an awful lot about how he's wired as a prospect. He didn't need to prove anything to the Husker coaching staff, but he wanted to compete and get some work in to become a better player. Another thing that was clear from watching him at the camp was just how coachable he is. In between reps, he would get tips, which either showed how to improve something he was doing or even something completely new, and he would go and execute it to perfection on his next rep. Those are all traits that every coach loves to see and it will serve him well at the next level.

8. 2020 Nebraska commit breakdown

1. 7/26/2018 - Logan Smothers - QB - 6-foot-1, 180 - Athens, Ala. - 4 Stars

2. 4/3/2019 - Zavier Betts - WR - 6-foot-3, 190 - Bellevue, Neb. - 4 Stars

3. 4/13/2019 - Turner Corcoran - OT - 6-foot-6, 270 - Lawrence, Kan. - 4 Stars

4. 6/23/2019 - Tamon Lynum - CB - 6-foot-2, 177 - Orlando, Fla. - NR

5. 6/24/2019 - Alex Conn - OL - 6-foot-6, 275 - Derby, Kan. - 3 Stars

6. 6/29/2019 - Nash Hutmacher - DL - 6-foot-5, 305 - Chamberlain, S.D. - 3 Stars

7. 7/2/2019 - Blaise Gunnerson - DE/OLB - 6-foot-5, 250 - Carroll, IA - 3 Stars

9. 2020 commits by position

1 - Quarterback

0 - Running back

1 - Wide receiver

0 - Tight end

2 - Offensive linemen

1 - Defensive tackle

1 - Defensive end

0 - Outside linebacker

0 - Inside linebacker

0 - Safety

1 - Cornerback

0 - Athlete

0 - Special teams

10. Where are they from?

Kansas - 2

Alabama - 1

Florida - 1

Iowa - 1

Nebraska - 1

South Dakota - 1