Needing a running back in the 2017 class, Nebraska dipped into the local scene.
Bellevue West prep Jaylin Bradley, who put together one of the best prep seasons in Nebraska history, committed to Nebraska in early January. Helping his team win a Nebraska Class A state-title, the senior rushed for nearly 3,000 yards and found the end zone 50 overall times in 2016.
Bradley was a prospect many had on their radar, but the senior had to put some extra work in the classroom to get qualified in time for National Signing Day.
"Excited probably isn't the word, as a life long husker fan I am ecstatic," said Bellevue West head coach Michael Huffman at the time of the commitment. "I am so proud of him and the work he had to do on and off the field to make this dream a reality! This shows every high school player and coach in the state that playing for the Big Red is possible!"
Bellevue West (Nebraska) high school prospect Jaylin Bradley is the only running back in the Midlands, not from the state of Texas, to be currently committed to a power-five school.
The Midlands area makes up the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Nebraska dipped into Missouri last year to land Tre Bryant. As a freshman Bryant carried the ball 43 times.
After failing to land two running backs in the 2017 class, Nebraska will likely target two in 2018.
Likely the top target on the Huskers' board, the IMG Academy (Florida) standout is originally from West Hills (Cali.) Chaminade College Prep - home of former Nebraska Cornhusker Terrell Newby.
Pledger attended Nebraska's satellite camp last summer in Los Angeles.
“The camp was great. I got a chance to work personally with Coach (Reggie) Davis. I had a good time. A lot of my friends were there. It was a good turnout,” said Pledger at the time. “He said that I’m very explosive and that he likes it. He said he thinks I could be a home run threat guy. He wants me to work on running in and out of my routes and continue with the fundamentals. Those are what separate guys at the next level.”
The running back quickly picked up an offer after the camp.
“I’m most definitely interested in Nebraska - a big interest,” said Pledger. “They have a lot of momentum with guys in California. Nebraska wasn’t really a big school for guys out here, but with all those guys, Tristan (Gebbia) and Keyshawn (Johnson Jr.), guys want to see what the big hoopla is. A lot of those guys wouldn’t have come today if they didn’t know about the Calibraska movement."
The brother of Nebraska 2017 early enrollee Avery Roberts, the junior has an early offer from Nebraska, North Carolina and Syracuse.