Rodney Groce commit: What does it mean for Nebraska?
Nebraska added very key addition to its recruiting class on Friday with Rodney Groce.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound inside linebacker out of Pleasant Grove, Ala. announced his commitment to the Big Red via social media. Groce picked NU over finalists such as Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Mississippi State and had over 25 total offers to his name. Groce becomes the 12th known verbal commit for Nebraska's 2020 recruiting class.
Here are some quick takes on what the commitment of Groce means for the Huskers.
1. First and foremost Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud deserve a lot of credit for the job they did of getting Rodney Groce to commit. It's never easy to go into the South and pull a player out of there that has several offers from high profile SEC and ACC schools. What's even more impressive is when Groce released his initial top eight schools back in lat May NU wasn't even on the list. Then he ends up committing a week after taking an official visit to Lincoln. Impressive work.
2. The Huskers are razor thin and the inside linebacker position and landing Groce is a major step towards filling that need in the 2020 recruiting class. NU would ideally like to be 4-6 deep at the position and after this season they will only have two returning players with significant experience. Groce should have the ability to come in and earn playing time very early on in his career. Not only is he a very gifted football player, but at 6-foot-2, and nearly 235-pounds he's nearly ready to go now. Give the early enrollee a winter with Zach Duval in the weight room and look for him to be in the mix next spring. NU would ultimately like to add at least one other ILB just like Groce to this class.
3. The first that really stands out about Groce to me on film is that he plays the game the way you want your inside linebacker to play the game. He's productive playmaker that is being physical all over the field. He's a striker, someone that loves to lay a hit on the ball carrier and let them know that he's going to be doing that all night long. He plays with a confidence and swagger that is contagious and that's something the Blackshirts need to keep adding more of.
4. Groce move extremely well for his size. He's fast and shows a great burst. I love the fact that he shows the ability to come off the edge to rush the quarterback, get home on inside blitzes, run sidelline-to-sideline, and fight off big offensive linemen in the box. He can do so much and he seems to do it all at a very high level.
5. One thing that really impressed me about Groce's senior film is on one play you'll see him use violent hands to shed a big offensive lineman, then on the next play he's out in the slot in man coverage against a small speedy slot receiver 30 yards down the field making a play on the ball. I'm not sure I've seen any of NU's current ILBs show that type of versatility.
6. Having good instincts can be the different between a good and great player. Groce seems to play with really good instincts. He looks to have a good feel for the game and reads and reacts very fast to the play. He's in position to make plays which is something the inside linebackers at Nebraska should do within the scheme.
7. I really like the fact that Nebraska has been able to go into the state of Alabama and start to pluck some really nice players out of there. Having guys like Cam Taylor-Britt, Jamin Graham, Logan Smothers and now Rodney Groce on the roster will help ensure that trend will continue, especially with the connections Chinander seemingly has there.
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. - 3 Stars
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
8. 7/8/2019 - Will Nixon - WR - 5-foot-11, 185 - Waco, TX - 3 Stars
9. 8/21/2019 - Sevion Morrison - RB - 6-foot, 190 - Tulsa, OK - 3 Stars
10. 8/24/2019 - Marvin Scott III - RB - 5-foot-9, 195 - Port Orange, FL - 3 Stars
11. 9/19/2019 - Henry Gray - CB - 6-foot-1, 185 - Miami, FL - 4 Stars
12. 10/4/2019 - Rodney Groce - ILB - 6-foot-2, 230 - Pleasant Grove, AL - 3 Stars
9. 2020 commits by position
1 - Quarterback
2 - Running back
2 - Wide receiver
0 - Tight end
2 - Offensive linemen
1 - Defensive tackle
1 - Defensive end
0 - Outside linebacker
1 - Inside linebacker
0 - Safety
2 - Cornerback
0 - Athlete
0 - Special teams
10. Where are they from?
Florida - 3
Alabama - 2
Kansas - 2
Iowa - 1
Nebraska - 1
Oklahoma - 1
South Dakota - 1
Texas - 1