Nebraska's momentum on the recruiting front continued in a big way today as Rivals100 running back Terrell Newby committed to Nebraska over UCLA at West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade high school.
Nebraska's courtship of Newby goes back to early March of 2012 and the Huskers were the first school outside of the Pac-12 to offer. Since then Newby has added double digit offers to his list but the one mainstay has always been the Big Red.
"It was real nice," Newby said of his announcement ceremony where he chose Nebraska. "It was a real good setup, I liked the whole setup. It definitely came down to my relationship with the Nebraska coaching staff. That was the biggest thing.
"UCLA did a good job of coming in and recruiting me, but Nebraska recruited me all along and stuck with me. They told me I was a top priority for them and they never fell off in their recruitment of me."
The relationship that he ended up building with Nebraska turned out to play a key role in his decision. That charge was led by receivers coach Rich Fisher and running backs coach Ron Brown.
"Coach (Ron) Brown said that he really wanted to coach me, and it was important that he recruited me. He had a huge impact on myself and my parents. He did a great job recruiting my family."
Last June it was reported that Newby was nearing a decision to commit to Cal but it was Fisher who convinced him to visit Nebraska for their Big Red recruiting weekend before he committed anywhere. That unofficial visit then led to Newby making a return trip so see the Huskers game day atmosphere this past September where he was thoroughly impressed.
"Coach (Rich) Fisher was the one who really started recruiting me for Nebraska. He followed me and talked me into taking my unofficial visit up there, and without that this never would have happened."
The Cornhuskers' head coach was also instrumental in convincing him to play in Lincoln.
"Coach (Bo) Pelini is coming to do his in-home visit with us this Friday," Newby stated. "He also played a huge role in this because he's a real passionate guy. He wants to win national championships. He's a guy who will get on his players but he also cares for them."
Newby, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster, is considered the top overall running back in the state of California and is a threat to score nearly every time he touches the ball. He joins 6-foot-2, 200-pound running back Adam Taylor of Katy, Texas.
Both Newby and Taylor bring different skill sets to Nebraska but common production. Each player easily eclipsed 2,000 yards rushing and each had well over 40 touchdowns a piece on the season.
"They said that I would definitely have the opportunity to play early, but that I would not be given anything," Newby shared. "I have to earn it. They want to use me in space just like Rex (Burkhead), only with a little more speed."
Rivals West coast regional analyst Adam Gorney has been able to watch Newby in personal several times and carries high praise for the prospect. He also thinks Newby will fit in well at Nebraska and in the Big Ten conference.
"Newby has outstanding speed coming out of the backfield and also great vision to find a little crease and then make something big happen," Gorney said. "He's not a huge back but he's pretty powerful and has equal success running between the tackles or getting to the edge. What I also like about Newby is that he's a killer catching the ball. He has hands like a wide receiver and after burying defenses with his running ability, he can catch defenders off-guard by coming out of the backfield to catch a pass and make a play.
"I've seen him in games and he's outstanding plus he put up such unreal numbers all season against good competition. I know the Nebraska coaches loved Newby from early on, kept recruiting him and so this is a big-time get for the program. He's someone who has the speed to beat Big Ten defenses and the durability to stay healthy."
Nebraska's other verbal pledge from the state of California, quarterback Johnny Stanton, also played a part in Newby's decision-making process.
"I have told Johnny," Newby said. "When Coach (Tim) Beck, Coach Fisher and Coach Brown were here on Saturday for their in-home visit, I committed to them. The first person I texted to tell about it was Johnny.
"We have a real good relationship, and I definitely feel that he's one of the best quarterbacks in the state. I'm looking forward to playing with him at Nebraska."
Newby leaves to play in the International Bowl on January 30, but for now he's going to enjoy having his college decision out of the way.
"It's been a real long process, but I took my time so that I would make the right decision," Newby said. "And I did."
Newby is ranked as the No. 8 running back in the nation and as the 67th overall prospect in the country.