Nebraska became one step closer to fulfilling their needs along the offensive line today as Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy lineman Mirko Jurkovic Jr. committed to the Huskers.
The 6-foot-5, 276-pound Jurkovic has close to 20 offers on the table, but recently named a top three that consisted of Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio State after having taken unofficial visits to all three schools. Although it was his trip to Lincoln, Neb. in mid-June that really helped put the Huskers over the top.
"I took a two day trip to Lincoln and it really separated them from any other visit that I took," Jurkovic said about what put Nebraska over the top.
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"I spent a lot of time with the coaches and players, and really got the feel for the atmosphere and the team. It was a tough decision, but it came down to Nebraska.
"When you look at offensive line and defensive line play, I knew that Nebraska had a rich tradition in Rimington Trophies and great offensive line play."
Jurkovic says he was able to build a solid relationship with the Nebraska coaches throughout the recruiting process which also played a role in his decision.
He informed Nebraska through assistant coach John Garrison Sunday night of his intentions to play for the Cornhuskers.
"I met [Coach Garrison] in May when he came out to a practice at IMG and since than we have developed a pretty strong relationship," Jurkovic stated.
"He toured me and my mom around Nebraska in June. I got to spend about 10 hours over two days with him, so we have a pretty strong relationship."
A native of Granger, Ind., Jurkovic has been attending IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. since January of this year. He says being able to play closer to home was not that big of a factor.
"This will be my first season for IMG," Jurkovic explained. "I looked into it to see all of the great stuff it would do for me and I decided to enroll.
"Here you'll get the best training from mental to physical and then to on the field training than any other high school. It's really not even close. The coaching staff and support staff we have here sets you up for college and success."
Although Rivals.com lists Jurkovic as a guard, the Huskers see him as a right tackle in their system.
"Coach Garrison is recruiting me right now as a [offensive] tackle," Jurkovic said. "I played [offensive] guard my junior year in Indiana, but since I've been down at IMG and through spring ball I have been at right tackle."
Mirko Jurkovic Sr. was a consensus All-American at Notre Dame and his uncle John Jurkovic played in the NFL for 10 years.
Having family in the Midwest gave the edge to the Cornhuskers and Buckeyes over the Gators, but other factors made the ultimate difference for NU.
"Not too much, because obviously, Ohio State is in the Midwest too," Jurkovic said about the regional factor. "The Midwest part factored in for Ohio State and Florida, but it was just about how I felt about the colleges only in what separated Nebraska from Ohio State.
"It took some time and I took a visit to [Nebraska] and Ohio State, and it took about a month to really sit down and go over the good and the bad of both of them and it came down to Nebraska."
Jurkovic joins in-state offensive guard Michael Decker and Baldwin, Kan. offensive tackle Christian Gaylord as offensive line commits in Nebraska's 2015 recruiting class.
When asked about the possibility of him changing his mind down the road, Jurkovic replied emphatically that he was all finished with the process.
"I am 100 percent done!" Jurkovic stated.