Younger brother of Husker says he's wide open

If you have an older brother going to a particular University to play ball, the common belief is that you will follow along, should the offer be there. Ryan Santos would like to avoid that particular stereotype if he can. It's not that he doesn't like Nebraska. He just wants his future school to be his choice, not everyone else's.

When Aaron Green committed and eventually signed with Nebraska, that was one brother combination that worked out. Not all work out that way, but some do. And honestly, it's the expectation when this kind of situations arises.

So, when David Santos, a Klein Collins linebacker, committed and then signed to play for the Huskers, Ryan, his younger brother and a recruited safety/corner, was figured as almost a shoo-in for the Big Red.

Maybe that's why the offers haven't come as of yet. Maybe those schools are simply waiting for the other shoe to drop. Ryan hopes that isn't the case. "What's good for him might not be good for me. I am a lot more interesting in exploring my options than getting caught up in one school right now," said the 5-10, 175 lbs. speedster. "I think some think that I am going there, but I'm looking at a lot more things than just where my brother goes."

One of those main things is how the University ranks against others when it comes to graduation rate, helping their student-athletes and just the overall atmosphere to advance on the learning side while the athletic side is going on. Santos is one of those who remains realistic about the future, while still keeping his eyes set on some bigger goals. "Not everyone ends up in the league. You can't go into college expecting that, or it's going to be tough for you if you don't make it," he said. "The first thing I am looking at is where that school is academically, and then go from there."

But obviously Ryan is going to be familiar with the Huskers, probably more familiar with them than any other place, especially early on. And when he helps his brother move up to Lincoln in the Summer, that's going to give him even more insight into the school where his brother chose to go. "Yeah, it's like a spy," Ryan said with a laugh. "I'll just be able to figure a lot more out about that place when he's there. He'll know a lot more about that place than me."

Ryan has learned a lot about Nebraska already, of course. But he also has had a chance to learn more recently, what with the departure of David's old recruiter and would-be position coach, Mike Ekeler, who took a promotion at the University of Indiana. Craig Els, the new linebackers coach at Nebraska, stopped in to talk to David about the future and just get to know one of his eventual players. Ryan said that he took away a lot from that meeting. "He isn't as energetic as coach Ekeler, but I don't know who is. But he definitely seems to have as much passion for the game and he seems really excited about the future," Ryan said. "I know he talked about how there is going to be a lot more power offenses in the Big Ten, and he figured David would be playing the WILL linebacker spot once he got there."

There still is some debate as to the spot Ryan will playing, as schools have talked to him about both corner and safety. You can figure he's not picky and will play whatever, but he wouldn't mind being able to roam around a bit on the field. "I like safety. I mean, I will play corner, but at safety it's a mental thing, where you can read what is going on and make plays all over the field," he said. "There is a lot of technique involved and a lot of footwork. I like that."

The recent attention from schools has came hardest from Arkansas and Nebraska, but closely followed by Oklahoma as well as Virginia. Ryan said he'll be going to Kansas for a Junior Day this weekend, and after that he's not sure.

It's his chance to try and see as many schools as he can, when time allows. And maybe convince schools that even if Nebraska offers, which he says they haven't as of yet, it doesn't mean he's automatically a member of the Big Red. "I'd like to go where I think I fit in best, and I will get the best education I can get. I like Nebraska, but it's really early, and I want to make sure about where is best for me," he said. "I learned from watching my brother go through it, that you just have to be thorough, ask a lot of questions and be sure about everything.

"That's what I plan to do."

As a junior, Santos had 104 tackles, almost 70 of them solo, along with three interceptions, one of which he took back for a TD.

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