This obviously has to be awarded to Omaha Central's Cortney Grixby who kept the Omaha/Lincoln connection going. Grixby, an orginal five star on TheInsiders.com, moved down our rankings this fall due to others stepping up and a bit of a poor senior season. Grixby has all the athleticism and some of the quickest feet seen on film to succeed at cornerback, but he will have to put size on his frame. While listed at 5'9, Cortney may actually only be 5'8. The one concern from this past fall was he lacked a physical style of play, which makes you wonder how effective of a tackle he can be. I expect that to improve greatly as he puts on size, and if he can put on 10 to 15 pounds this fall, I'd look for him to be a contributor in 2005.
This award comes with a few candidates for Nebraska, but once again I'm staying in-state with my choice. Andrew Christensen was not heard of much due to his ACL injury and an early commitment to Nebraska. Still, he is one of the best interior lineman I viewed on film, and could be the next great Husker center or guard. Christensen moves very well, and explodes off the line. In fact, I do believe he is the second best guard/center prospect in the Big 12 Region behind Jeff Byers. His attitude reflects well on others, and I would not be surprised to see him ultimately become the leader on the line.
Most Likely to Make Biggest Impact in 2004
I would have given this award to Byron Smith had he not faced criminal charges and remained a Husker. This one is a tough choice because defensive line was the biggest need, and the Huskers came up short in signing their top targets. Obviously, JUCO offensive lineman Cornelius Thomas will be asked to make an impact right away. I actually am going to go in the direction of a guy that exceled at this past summer's 7 on 7 competition in Texas. That would be Cypress Fall wide receiver Terrence Nunn as the Huskers employ a passing offense next fall. He is very good at creating seperation and his field awareness is top notch as he continually spots the first down marker.
Biggest Fish Missed
This once again could apply to JUCO defensive tackle Byron Smith because he was being counted on so heavily for next year's team. Because of how late the charges came, the Huskers were not able to jump in the race for other JUCO defensive tackles. I'm actually going to point in the direction toward the quarterback position as Nebraska was not able to sign one of their higher priorities. Nick Patton could have become a much more realistic option had D.T. McDowell and Allan Evridge not made such early commitments, and Nebraska ended up losing all three. I consider Evridge an upgrade over the three quarterbacks signed. Rocky Hinds's decision was expected, but you have to wonder why he would grab the chance to start next fall in Lincoln rather than sitting behind John David Booty at USC. Darryl Clark was one of the best kept secrets in this nation at quarterback, and Nebraska should give the kid a look two years down the road as he most likely will not qualify.