"From what I watched on film, Grixby is one of the nation's most exciting players and one of the best I have seen this season. There is no doubt in my mind that this kid is one of the top prospects in the country and the best from the state of Nebraska. I absolutely love him. He is just a big time football player."
Such were the comments of TheInsiders' national recruiting expert, Jamie Newberg. So, you can see why few would be surprised at Cortney's 5-star ranking, TheInsiders' national rankings released just today, Newberg and company ranking Grixby as the second best cornerback in the country, behind only Ted Ginn of Glenville high school in Glenville, Ohio.
The 5-star ranking isn't a shock to Grixby so much as it's simply another reason to get excited about this up-coming year, but he's determined to not let his lofty status as a All-Everything prep go to his head. "I'm excited about it, but I have to stay humble." Cortney said of his new Insiders' 5-star ranking. "If that's what they think, that's great, but I am just out there playing the game."
For Grixby, this new ranking comes somewhat of a surprise though, simply because he hasn't always been perceived as not just this good, but that good at all. You can understand his reluctance to get on every bandwagon that tries to analyze his ability. "I don't know." Cortney said about all the rankings. "I've had some say I am good, some say that I wasn't that good and anymore, I just kind of roll with the punches and try not to worry about it that much."
"I'm humble and down to earth, so I just play the game and if I do good at it, I'm happy, but I don't sit back and think about me being the best. That's just not me."
"How good I am isn't for me to decide. That's for you guys."
Well, those guys have decided and Cortney sits amongst the best as far as the Insiders is concerned, thus any attention Cortney has gotten thus far, you can count on that increasing, maybe dramatically. No, not because of the Insiders, but this kind of attention and ranking from someone as reputable as Jamie Newberg and the rest of the recruiting staff does tend to turn a head here and there.
It's not turning Cortney's head, because his is pointed in the same direction as it was prior to any of the hype and hoopla. As he said, the rankings are what they are and he's just taking it in stride, not letting what others think affect what he thinks throughout the recruiting process.
About the process though, some have thought and speculated that Cortney might not wait it out, might not maintain his neutral status throughout the season, rather opting to get it over with even before the season began. Cortney gave me his view on that possibly happening. "It could come to me anytime." he said of his decision. "I want to wait on a couple of visits and think about my decision. I am just kind of waiting on that feeling, but I don't know when that's going to happen."
With the ever-increasing attention that Cortney is getting, it prompts the obvious question posed to any Nebraska prep-star, especially those with the kind of accolades Grixby is getting right now. It's the biggest question of any kid within the Husker state being recruited from outside the borders. Are they destined for NU or is there a chance that someone else can get into the picture? "They are the home school." Cortney said of Nebraska. "So, they are going to get a good look for sure."
"I don't know anything right now, but it should be interesting in the end."
The end or when that comes about is known to you as much as it is to me and perhaps, Cortney himself. The rankings are what we call icing on the cake, but it will only serve to increase the attention Grixby is getting, that attention already significant. While I was on the phone with Cortney, that silent pause as you realize his call-waiting was in full effect went off three different times, all for him, all wanting just a little of his time.
And as long as the process goes on, that's the way it is going to be for Grixby, until that time where he decides on which school he wants to go. That's the way it goes when you are considered one of the best and no matter what you think of those rankings, when someone throws a five-star signature by your name, admit it or not, you are pretty darn good. And Grixby has an entire year to get better.
Maybe we could get a five and a half star ranking, eh? Ok, maybe not.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619