Another in-stater pulls the trigger

Another in-state kid becomes a Husker, another dream realized. It's almost passe' when any young man from within the borders of NU pledges to the Huskers, but while it may seem anti-climatic, for each young man, the worthiness feelings inspired by this event could possibly last forever.

Today, Andrew Christensen became the third Nebraska kid to become a Husker for this year's recruiting class. An offensive linemen out of Bennington, Andrew is the first "biggun" to verbal to NU.

What's funny about Andrew is that like his predecessors, Allen Evridge and Ty Steinkuhler, many didn't see it coming, but in Christensen's case, it had nothing to do with his ability, rather his injury that kept him out of the spotlight.

Last year, Andrew tore his ACL, effectively ending his season and for Andrew, there was a worry that the injury could end his recruiting season as well. "I was worried about that a little." Andrew said. "I know how these things go, so that crossed my mind."

That injury took Christensen from possibly the top spot, perceived as the best lineman in Nebraska to a spot not much further down, but with a huge question mark, most wondering if he would indeed recover.

That didn't stop some schools though as Andy was thought enough of to warrant offers even during his rehab from schools like Colorado State, Iowa, Iowa State and of course, Nebraska.

Andy's 6'3" and 275 lbs. frame have made him an ideal center/guard prospect and his best 40 time of 4.98 pretty much quells any questions you have of whether he can get off the line quick enough or not. The injury though has had it's affect here as well, because ACL injuries don't let you workout the way you want, especially Christensen's gargantuan legs that helped to push his squat up over 500 lbs.

He said he is working on that. "That's something I need to work on real hard this Summer."

The slow and agonizing process of coming back from any injury is frustrating, but Andrew has been resolved to getting not just all the way back, but beyond and this pledge to NU has made him even more focused on doing just that. "I got this recruiting stuff done now and now I need to make sure I am ready for Fall, get my knee back underneath me and just dominate."

Domination is what is expected of Andrew, even with the rehab time taken into consideration. Before the injury, he was thought to be one of if not the best offensive line prospect in Nebraska and that is saying something considering some of his competition for that title is Seth Olsen and Mike Huff.

Being touted however is not a consideration for Christensen, rather simply getting the job done on the field, something he's been particularly adept at and his success isn't just a physical state of being, but a state of mind as well. "I just try to be aggressive, but smart at the same time." Andrew said. "I just try to go through my guy and hit him as hard as I can."

Back to this pledge though, as stated from the beginning, Andrew didn't just make a commitment, he realized a dream, a dream so many thousands of other kids have had growing up in Nebraska, only a few realizing it to it's fullest extent. It really is a dream come true. "It is." Andrew agreed. "All my life, I have followed the Huskers."

And like any other fan of the team, they not only focus on the team, but players, some of his particular favorites fairly appropriate considering the position. "I liked Dominic (Raiola) and Fonoti (Toniu) to." he said.

Now, Andrew can number himself amongst that group he followed. Of course, whether other Nebraska kids will follow him in the same way, only time will tell, but that's time Christensen is ready to put in, starting with a probable redshirt, something he's more than willing to utilize. "I just turned 17 yesterday." Andrew said. "That first year, I can get on campus, learn some things and get in the weight room so I am where I need to be come next year and then I think I will be ready to compete."

With the recruiting process out of the way, Andrew has the luxury of being able to focus just on his final high school season. He also has the chance to think of just what he has to do in regards to rehabbing his injury all the way back to where he was. It's also a chance to watch Nebraska from afar, knowing that one day, that's going to be him on the field, playing amidst the sea of red. All that and Andrew is still surprisingly stoic knowing that it's now a reality, not just a dream. "I'm excited about it. I can't wait."

Andrew chose Nebraska over Iowa, Iowa State and Colorado State.

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619


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