After committing to Nebraska back in Sept of 2014, Des Moines (IA) Valley high school offensive lineman John Raridon made it official on Wednesday by signing his National Letter of Intent - he is a Nebraska Cornhusker.
The four-star offensive lineman and Army All-American is the son of former Husker Scott Raridon, who was an All-Conference player for Nebraska in the 80s. Scott went on to be a strength conditioning coach at Notre Dame, seeing his oldest son, Scott Jr. , play for the Fighting Irish in the early 2000s.
“It was pretty exciting. He signed this morning,” said Scott Sr. “Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of memorabilia, and didn’t go to many Husker games, but he’s just always been a big Nebraska fan. His room is decorated in Nebraska. It’s just always been where he wanted to go play.
As a sophomore in 2013, Raridon was named to the All-State Elite football team in Iowa by the Des Moines Register. It was then when his relationship with Nebraska started.
“He was the most excited I have ever seen him when Nebraska offered him a scholarship,” said Scott Sr. “I think part of it was because I played there and we are extremely close. Once he got over there, the game atmosphere and fans won him over.
“The fans and the media at Nebraska are five times the coverage of anything I have seen. They just love Nebraska football and are into it. When we go to games and are walking down the isles, people recognize him. That doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
Despite landing the dream offer, Scott Sr. made it very clear to his youngest son. Take your time with the process.
“When John committed, our rule was, we don’t want you to commit and be the guy that switches school. I warned him there was a high probability of a coaching change,” said Scott Sr. “I told him, “a coaching change is the only time that I would allow and be okay with changing schools. But you have to give the staff a chance and see if it’s a fit.’”
Scott Sr. was right. There was a coaching change. And despite being a commitment to the previous staff, John never waffled. He had committed to Nebraska. Not a coaching staff.
“He understood after warning him up front,” said Scott Sr. “He really took to Coach Cavanaugh. He really likes him…after getting the job they called within a week to tell him they had watched his film and really liked it. They reassured him he would be one of their guys.”
After seeing one son play at Notre Dame and another commit to Wisconsin, the former Husker didn’t think having a son at his alma mater much - he was wrong.
“At first, I didn’t think I really cared,” said Scott Sr. “But then we started to get recruited over there and we went to some games. I ran into people who were on staff when I was there. I ran into ex-players and saw some of my accomplishments on the wall. I then thought, ‘I do really care.’ I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.”
Now Nebraska fans can expect to see Scott Sr. come