The class includes infielder Steven Edlefsen (Bloomington, Minn./Barton County CC), outfielder Luke Gorsett (Denver, Colo./Garden City CC), infielder Nick Jaros (Platte County, Mo./Maple Woods CC) and catcher/outfielder Jesse Shriner (Littleton, Colo./Larmar CC) along with high school seniors Andrew Gudmunson (Minot, N.D.), Jeff Lanning (Ankeny, Iowa), John Lee (Mason City, Iowa) and Mike Nihsen (Ralston).
After signing a pair of nationally-rated recruiting classes in each of the past two seasons, including a 22-member class that was ranked 16th by Collegiate Baseball in 2004, Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson said the staff targeted specific needs in looking for players to join the young and talented nucleus currently on the current Husker roster.
"With such a large group of newcomers brought in last fall, one of our goals when planning for his class was that we would have a smaller number to work with, so we were looking for players that complemented the players we already have in the program," Anderson said. "Overall, we like the makeup of the class because they are exceptional athletes as well as very good students."
The class features players from six states (Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota) and features two first-team all-state honorees in Mason City, Iowa, outfielder John Lee and Minot, N,D., infielder Andrew Gudmunson. In addition, the class also features Ralston pitcher Mike Nihsen, a two-time all-state pick who is considered the top player in the state this season. The junior college transfers include Barton County Community College infielder Steven Edlefsen, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft, and Lamar Community College catcher Jesse Shriner, who earned NJCAA All-America honors as a freshman, batting .432 with 10 homers and 82 RBIs in a wood-bat league, helping the school to a 50-12 record and a top-10 national ranking.
"Our primary goal is to target the best players in the state and the region - both in the high school and junior college ranks - and get them to Nebraska," Anderson said. "We thought that Mike Nihsen was the best player in the state in this year's senior class, and is a very good athlete who plays three sports that we think can really develop in our program.
"The other thing we like about Mike and the rest of the class is their makeup, and that is something we put a priority on when we are recruiting student-athletes for the University of Nebraska."
Hometown (High School/Junior College)
Steven Edlefsen INF 6-2 175 S/R
Bloomington, Minn. (Jefferson/Barton County CC)
Luke Gorsett OF 6-3 205 R/R
Denver, Colo. (Jefferson/Garden City CC)
Andrew Gudmunson INF 6-5 205 R/R
Minot, N.D. (Minot)
Jeff Lanning C 5-11 195 R/R
Ankeny, Iowa (Ankeny)
John Lee OF 5-11 175 L/L
Mason City, Iowa (Mason City)
Nick Jaros OF 6-1 200 R/R
Platte City, Mo. (Platte County/Maple Woods CC)
Mike Nihsen RHP 6-2 180 R/R
Ralston, Neb. (Ralston)
Jesse Shriner C 6-0 195 R/R
Littleton, Colo. (Bear Creek/Lamar CC)
Steve Edlefsen (INF, 6-2, 175, Bloomington,
One of four junior college players in the fall recruiting class, Edlefsen comes to Nebraska from Barton County Community College, where he is coached by Mike Warren and former Husker infielder Brandt Vlieger. A 41st-round pick of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Edlefsen hit .341 with one homer, 20 RBIs and 30 runs scored as a freshman to help Barton County CC post a 37-18 record, including a 22-10 mark in the Jayhawk East Conference in 2004. A native of Bloomington, Minn., he played at Jefferson High School, where he was a two-year starter. As a senior, he hit .392 with five homers and 37 RBIs, earning honorable-mention all-state accolades. In American Legion ball, he helped his team to a state runner-up finish and was the MVP of the state legion tournament as a senior. The son of Brad and Mary Jane Edlefsen, Steve was also looking at Louisiana-Lafayette, Auburn, Alabama and Oklahoma State before choosing NU.
Anderson on Edelefsen: Steve is a very athletic player with a lot of tools. Offensively, he has good bat speed and we think could be someone who could hit in the middle of our lineup. Defensively, he has good arm strength and has the athleticism to play several positions across the infield."
Edelefsen on Nebraska: I've had a relationship with the Nebraska coaches since coming to camp on campus in high school. It was a comfortable fit with and I wanted to help Nebraska get to the College World Series."
Luke Gorsett (OF, 6-3, 205, Denver, Colo.)
Gorsett continues Nebraska's run of players from Garden City Community College, following in the footsteps of All-Big 12 first baseman Curtis Ledbetter and junior Brandon Buckman. Gorsett helped Garden City CC to a 36-23 record for Coach Rick Sabbath in 2004, hitting .314 with 15 homers, 11 doubles, 50 RBIs and a .616 slugging percentage. Gorsett played his high school ball for Coach Tory Humprey at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver. He garnered first-team All-Colorado and Class 4A Player-of-the-Year honors as a two-way performer, batting .531 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs and going 8-1 with a 3.40 ERA on the mound during his senior campaign. The son of Michael and Loryn Gorsett, Luke chose Nebraska over Northern Colorado.
Anderson on Gorsett: Luke comes from a very good junior college program and will continue to improve at the Division I level. He has very good size and has shown very good power potential.
Gorsett on Nebraska: "I chose Nebraska because of the coaching staff, the outstanding facilities and the entire academic support system in place for student-athletes."
Andrew Gudmunson (INF, 6-5, 205, Minot, N.D.)
Gudmunson follows in the footsteps of former Minot standouts and current Huskers Phil and Charlie Shirek, as he was a teammate of both at Minot High School. A four-year letterwinner who was on the varsity as an eighth grader, Gudmunson is a three-time all-state infielder for Coach Todd Larson at Minot High School. As a junior, Gudmunson hit .327 with five homers, 15 doubles, 32 RBIs and six stolen bases. He also went 8-1 on the mound with a 1.21 ERA, fanning 45 in 58 innings while holding opponents to a .206 average. In addition to his baseball abilities, he is a first-team all-state quarterback who guided Minot to an 8-2 record and a state playoff appearance during the fall. He had already earned 10 varsity letters (three in football and basketball and four in baseball) entering the winter and is an academic all-conference honoree. The son of Sheldon and Joanne Gudmunson, Andrew looked at Minnesota, Kansas State, West Virginia and several junior colleges before selecting Nebraska.
Anderson on Gudmunson: "Andrew is someone we targeted early in the recruiting process. He plays shortstop for his high school team, but can play several infield positions. He has a plus arm and a frame that he continues to grow into."
Gudmunson on Nebraska: "Nebraska had everything I was looking for in a school."
Jeff Lanning (C, 5-11, 195, Ankeny, Iowa)
One of two Iowa natives in the fall recruiting class, Jeff Lanning joins the Husker program after a decorated career at Ankeny High School. A three-sport athlete who also plays football and runs track, Lanning was a second-team Class 4A all-state selection as a junior, hitting .387 as Ankeny went 35-6 and reached the Class 4A semifinals. A three-time All-Central Iowa Metro League selection, he garnered all-district honors in each of the last two seasons. In addition to his baseball abilities, he is a two-time first-team all-conference selection at linebacker and runs track, where Ankeny won the state 4x400 meter crown in 2004. The son of Dana and Lisa Lanning, Jeff looked at Iowa, Kansas State, Northern Iowa before choosing Nebraska.
Anderson on Lanning: Jeff is a player who we originally saw in our Stars of Tomorrow camp. He is a strong, physical kid who has prototypical size for a catcher. He played for a very good high school program and is someone who we think can develop in our program."
Lanning on Nebraska: "I chose Nebraska because of the great coaches and the outstanding facilities, It had everything I wanted."
John Lee (OF, 5-11, 175, Mason City, Iowa)
One of two Iowa high school seniors in the recruiting class, Lee comes to Nebraska from Mason City High School, where he plays for coach Troy Root. A first-team Class 4A outfielder, Lee hit .420 with nine triples, 57 RBIs, 62 hits and 18 stolen bases as a junior. He ranked 63rd nationally on Team One Baseball's list of the top-100 high school outfielders and ranked in Baseball America's list of the nation's top 500 high school seniors, covering all positions. A three-year letterwinner on the diamond, Lee earned first-team all-Central Iowa Metro League honors during his junior campaign. He also plays basketball and baseball at Mason City High School, earning all-conference accolades the last two seasons, as he split time between wide receiver and running back last fall. An outstanding student-athlete, Lee was chosen as the Wendy's High School Heisman winner for the state of Iowa and ranks No. 1 in his class of 300 with a 4.00 GPA. The son of Jane and Phillip Lee, John looked at Northern Iowa and several community colleges before choosing to become a Husker.
Anderson on Lee: The thing that stands out about John is that he is an outstanding athlete, as well as an excellent student. We saw him at the Area Code Games over the summer and were impressed with his athleticism. He plays three sports in high school, and we see him as someone who can blossom in our program.
Lee on Nebraska: I chose Nebraska because of the facilities and the coaches. I felt like Nebraska was a good fit for me, along with the tradition of winning they have developed."
Nick Jaros (OF, 5-11, 185, Platte City, Mo.)
Nick comes to Nebraska via Maple Woods Community College, where he plays for coach Marty Kilgore. Jaros earned first-team All-NJCAA South Central District honors as a freshman, batting .370 with eight homers and 40 stolen bases as a freshman. He attended Platte County High School, where he earned all-state honors in three sports (baseball, football and wrestling) during his prep career. Playing for his father, Greg Jaros, he earned All-Class 3A honors. In addition to his baseball exploits, Jaros was a state medal winner in wrestling and drew interest from Coach Mark Manning's wrestling program before going to Maple Woods CC to play baseball. He also played football in high school, winning three straight state titles, as his team posted a 42-0 record in his final three seasons. The son of Greg and Cheryl Jaros, Nick also drew interest from North Carolina State and Oklahoma State, but only visited Nebraska. His brother, Todd, plays baseball at William Jewell College.
Anderson on Jaros: "Nick has tremendous bat speed and has a chance to play either corner outfield spot next year. The other thing we like about Nick is he is a hard-nosed player who is extremely competitive."
Jaros on Nebraska: "I chose Nebraska because of its outstanding facilities, and the student-athlete support system caught my eye."
Mike Nihsen (RHP, 6-3, 180, Ralston, Neb.)
Considered the top prospect in the state by the Husker coaching staff, Ralston native Mike Nihsen is the one pitcher in the fall signing class. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder earned all-state accolades in each of the past two seasons under former Coach Curt Shockey as the Rams are now coached by Marty Santoni. He earned honorable-mention all-state honors as a junior. He enjoyed a strong 2003 season, garnering Lincoln Journal Star Super-State honors and All-Nebraska accolades from the Omaha World-Herald, compiling a 5-2 record. He has two career no-hitters, including a no-hitter against Omaha Benson last spring, and struck out 14 in nine innings against Creighton Prep as a freshman. A three-year letterwinner in baseball and basketball, he was also the starting quarterback for Ralston's football team, earning all-conference recognition while guiding the Rams to a state playoff appearance this fall. In the classroom, he is also an honor roll student at Ralston High School. The son of Connie and Don Nihsen, Mike also looked at Creighton, Wayne State and Iowa Western before choosing to become a Husker.
Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach Rob Childress on Nihsen: "We think that Mike is the top player in the state and is someone we targeted to be in our program. He is very polished and has a good knowledge of the strike zone. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, he is someone who has a good, projectable frame that can develop and add velocity in our strength program."
Nihsen on Nebraska: "I have always wanted to play for Nebraska growing up and the success they have had in recent years made the decision easy."
Jesse Shriner (C, 6-0, 195, Littleton, Colo.)
Shriner comes to Nebraska from Lamar Community College, where he played for Coach Scott Crampton. He led Lamar CC to a 50-12 record and a No. 10 national ranking, as the school sent 10 players to Division I schools last season. Shriner earned first-team all-conference and NJCAA All-America honors as a freshman, batting .432 (95-for-220) with 10 homers, 82 RBIs, 22 doubles, 22 stolen bases and a .705 slugging percentage with a wooden bat. He also posted a .471 on-base percentage and struck out just 22 times in 220 at-bats. A two-sport athlete, Shriner attended Bear Creek High School, the same alma mater as former Husker All-American Matt Hopper, where he earned all-conference accolades in both baseball and football. The son of Dave and Deb Shriner, Jesse looked at USC, Arizona State and Kentucky before choosing Nebraska.
Anderson on Shriner: "Jesse is a guy who we have known about for a while. He is a tremendous hitter and brings a lot of versatility, as he can catch or play the outfield. He is a very offensive player who has a great feel as a hitter and runs exceptionally well for a catcher."
Shriner on Nebraska: "I chose Nebraska because it was close to home and I liked the facilities, coaches and the academic support for student athletes."