Randolph Kpai commit: What does it mean for Nebraska?
Nebraska added a key piece to its 2021 recruiting with the addition of Randolph Kpai.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound linebacker announced his commitment to the Big Red via social media on Thursday night. Kpai picked the Huskers over other early offers from the likes of Iowa, Oregon, Iowa State, Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas State and others. Kpai becomes the fourth known verbal commit for Nebraska's 2021 recruiting class.
Here are some quick takes on what the commitment of Kpai means for the Huskers.
1. Scott Frost said when he was hired that he and his staff had to try and get the best players in Nebraska and the surrounding states to Lincoln. So far, the Huskers have done a pretty good job of that under Frost and the addition of Kpai counts as one they had to get. Tip your hat to the job inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander did in recruiting Kpai.
2. The addition of Kpai means the Huskers continue to have a stranglehold on the top talent in the state of South Dakota. It also means that they have officially keep the Sioux Falls Washington High School pipeline open for awhile longer. That connection has produced some pretty good Huskers over the recent years such as Nathan Gerry, Matt Farniok, Will Farniok and Kpai could be next. Given the low overall numbers of talent in Nebraska compared to other states, NU must treat prospects from states like South Dakota as in-state players.
3. The Huskers are on an early roll with its 2021 class now. Kpai gives NU four known verbal commits so far which is far ahead of where we've seen Nebraska's recruiting classes be at this stage in the process under Frost.
Also, three of the four current commits hail from within the 500-mile radius which is a very big deal. There's enough talent inside the radius this year where it would not come as a completely shock to see more than half the class come from within the region by the time things are all said and done.
4. While Kpai plays mostly outside linebacker for his high school, he will transition into an inside linebacker for the Huskers. Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud has said over the last year or two that they not only need to add more depth as he'd ideally like to be at least three deep at both inside linebacker positions, but also that they need to upgrade the overall athleticism at the position. Kpai helps in both of those categories.
5. The days of seeing big, 250-pound inside linebackers stuffing the run in the Big Ten are over. Nebraska needs playmakers at the position that can run and cover. Kpai does that extremely well. He's got great speed and is very explosive. He's not the biggest guy right now as he's just pushing 190-pounds, but he has the frame to grow into a 220, 230-pound playmaker once he gets on campus.
6. Kpai is a versatile player that shows the ability to rush the passer, blitz, cover in space and be very physical at the point of attack. He's already played a lot of good football for a great program in Washington H.S. as he's started since his sophomore year. Kids that have come out of that program have proven to be a fit in Nebraska's culture.
7. Any time you can go out and get a commitment from a player you really value this early is great. What's even better is when not only do you get a player you really want, but you steal him away from some of your conference rivals that really wanted him as well. Iowa and Minnesota were just two Big Ten West foes that really, really wanted Kpai. It's nice for the Huskers to know that they won't have to play against him.
8. 2021 Nebraska commit breakdown
1. 9/1/2019 - RJ Sorensen - DE - 6-foot-4, 245 - Wellington, FL - 3 Stars
2. 9/28/2019 - Teddy Prochazka - OT - 6-foot-9, 285 - Elkhorn, NE - 4 Stars
3. 11/17/2019 - Henry Lutovsky - OG - 6-foot-6, 310 - Mt. Pleasant, IA - 3 Stars
4. 1/2/2020 - Randolph Kpai - ILB - 6-foot-3, 190 - Sioux Falls, SD - 3 Stars
9. 2021 commits by position
0 - Quarterback
0 - Running back
0 - Wide receiver
0 - Tight end
2 - Offensive linemen
0 - Defensive tackle
1 - Defensive end
0 - Outside linebacker
1 - Inside linebacker
0 - Safety
0 - Cornerback
0 - Athlete
0 - Special teams
10. Where are they from?
1 - Florida
1 - Iowa
1 - Nebraska
1 - South Dakota