Heading Home - LB, Lance Brandenburgh

The trip from York, Nebraska to Overland Park, Kansas isn't a long one, but it takes you from one state to another, one home to another and if you grew up a Husker fan, TV takes you back, but you remain in a land that doesn't share your devotion. Lance Brandenburgh is making his way back home and back to one his first loves and he told NU that he's a future Husker.

To say this is an exciting time for Lance is a bit of an understatement. To say that Lance's ultimate decision to be a Husker is a surprise, that would be a bit of an over-statement. This wasn't fate mind you, but for Lance, it was just a moment that he's been

Who's your favorite
football player in the pros?

"It would have to be Urlacher."

waiting for, for a very long time. It was a decision important enough to Brandenburgh that a phone call stating such, simply wouldn't do. "Me and my family drove up this morning." Lance said. "We went to my grandparent's house last night, told them when they were all in the same room and then we went up to Lincoln and told the coaches that I was ready to be a Husker."

Ready implies a mind-set that has developed over time, but based on where Lance came from, some would say it was inevitable,

Favorite NFL team?

"The 49ers and the Chiefs."

that he was ready long ago, but only realized just how much so right now. That might be correct, but Lance still wasn't going to make any rash decisions. "I wanted to make sure it was the right decision and get to know the coaching staff (at Nebraska) and see what they are all about." Lance said.

At the point of the time he was offered, getting to know the coaching staff would have been an issue, seeing as how not all of them were even there, the firing done, but the hiring not yet finished. That state of flux was a consideration for Lance, but as he got to know some of the coaches he would be dealing with directly, his caution turned to optimism. "I like coach Pelini a lot." Lance

What's your favorite dessert?

"My Grandmother's Strawberry
CheeseCake. She always makes
it every time I come up to Nebraska."

"She's the best cook in the nation."

said. "He coached in the NFL for 9 years, so you know you are learning from the best and coach Williams played in the NFL and that means you are playing for two guys from the lest football league in the world."

With so much influence from the best league around, any defensive player would seem likely to give NU a closer look, simply because it offers them a chance (however slim) to get to the elite league, or at the very least, improve their chances for that. "Ever since I was a kid, that's what I wanted to be." Lance said of getting to the NFL. "I got a long ways to go though, so I have to worry about everything before that and I have to have something to rely on and that will be my education."

What's your favorite movie?

"Rudy, Remeber the Titans and
the Waterboy."

Are you like the Waterboy?

"I might hit like him, but I'm not
quite that crazy."

Speaking of an education, there's one thing about Nebraska that Lance has studied and it also has had something to do with his decision to go to Nebraska, all that allegiance, childhood favorite, it would be a dream to go there stuff aside. It's called depth or the lack thereof and that's definitely what Nebraska is going to have when Lance steps on campus. "All their stars and back-ups are like juniors and seniors." Lance said. "That is definitely something I was looking at, seeing just how soon I could get on the field and compete."

It's almost a no-brainer that Lance and any other linebacker that's recruited this year will be asked to try and add depth to what will be a sorely depleted core. Lance, Maurice McClellan and Michael Keenan are all prospects that won't just have the opportunity to play right away, but in some cases, might be depended on to do just that.

There is a season to go though. Yes, for the Huskers, but Lance has one more year to play at St. Thomas Aquinas before his season at NU can start. Lance is focused on that, but he realizes that part of him is already a Husker, that part no doubt

If you were a car, what
kind of car would you be?

"A truck. A Dodge Ram."

potentially attention-grabbing every time he takes the field. "I'm going to be on the field and people will probably start talking trash to me." Lance said. "I think it will probably help me more to think that I am going to Nebraska and I need to step it up right now, so I think it's a good thing, but I will be focused on my team and trying to win a state championship."

Lance marks the first fairly well-known prospect to commit to NU this recruiting season. Not to take anything away from any of the other capable and deserving recruits, Lance does commit with some publicity already well in place. Maybe it's that near 200 tackle season from his junior year. Whatever it is, you won't have to say ‘who' this time around, rather just say ‘when', wondering just how long it will take Lance before he hits the field for Nebraska.

It won't be soon enough for him.

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

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