San Diego Mesa junior college wideout Tyrell Spain is the latest commit to Nebraska. Not even two weeks ago, Nebraska wasn't even on his map. For Spain, it was a bit of a surprise, but one that he was happy to get just three weeks before signing day. "Like last Thursday coach (Bill) Busch got a hold of me, said they liked my type and wanted me to come and visit," Spain said. "Nebraska is big-time football, so they didn't have to ask twice."
Once Spain arrived on his visit, he said that while he was happy with what he saw in Lincoln as far as the facilities, academics and so on, it wasn't a surprise to him at all. "You expect to see great stuff at a place like that and it was just what I figured it would be," he said. "Plus, the system they run is real similar to what I ran at Mesa."
Named All-Conference this last season with San Diego Mesa junior college, the 6-3, 195 lbs. Sophomore caught 58 balls for 926 yards, scoring eight times. And, like he said, he did it in a fashion that is similar to how he would be asked to do it with NU. "You get the ball short and see what you can do," Spain said of his offense's main philosophy. "They relied a lot on guys being able to run solid routes and make something happen after the catch."
"That's what Nebraska does. I've got the speed to make things happen downfield, but in a system like this, you get the ball in high percentage situations and it's on you to make the plays after that."
While on his visit, Spain had the opportunity to meet a variety of players that will be significant in his future with the Huskers. One being another junior college transfer, quarterback Jordan Adams. It was conversations like this that ultimately sold Spain on just what NU was doing for the future. "All the players I talked to were just so excited about what was happening at Nebraska," he said. "The offense, the way they spread the ball around and the kind of optimism they all had."
"It made you want to be a part of that, so that was pretty important as far as me wanting to go there."
Tyrell is now one of four total receivers on this year's class and will join several wideouts already there. But, while Spain realizes the competition is always going to be there, he knows what the expectations are of a junior college athlete coming in. "They recruit you to play and right away," Spain said. "I plan on doing what I can to fit in, learn the system and everything else, but they expect me to try for a spot right now and so do I. I would rather not redshirt if I don't have to."
Tyrell has that redshirt option, plus 2 years to complete his collegiate eligibility and said that as far as his current academics are concerned, he's on pace to graduate in May.
Between now and then, though, Spain is already working on avoiding the problem many junior college athletes have when they have that long wait from signing day until they arrive on campus around June. "I already talked to coach (Dave) Kennedy about what I need to do as far as strength and conditioning right now," Tyrell said. "I am in a weight class at Mesa and I am definitely going to be in the best shape I can be when I arrive."
"The second I hit the field, I plan on being ready to contribute along with everyone else."
Tyrell chose Nebraska over Tulsa.