Nebraska stays home for #16

There's been a question about Nebraska's devotion to the players in state when it comes to recruiting the best football players Nebraska has to offer. The believe nowadays is that the eyes are more pointed other places, only looking inward when necessary. That may be the case, but that argument is a little harder to justify as the Huskers pick up their 16th commit and the fourth to come from within the borders of Nebraska.

You could say injuries have been the theme of Millard North running back Corey Young. An ACL tear kept him out his entire junior year and he wasn't able to make the state final against Lincoln Southwest, because of another, this time, though, it was the other knee he injured.

If you ask Millard North head coach Petito, though, what he thinks defines Young's career, it's not what's kept him on the field, but what he's done it on, and he compares Young's ability to some pretty significant names in Husker history.

"He reminds me a lot of Eric Crouch in his explosion," Petito said of Young, comparing him to the former Husker and Heisman winner. "He's got such great acceleration, but he also can find something when there's really nothing there."

"In that, he reminds me a lot of Leodis Flowers."

Whether it's a Heisman winner from just a few years ago or a running back that played for the Huskers in the late-80s-early 90s, coach Petito saw everything you could want in an athlete that you wanted to be able to make plays. Young did plenty of that his senior year, despite missing three games for the Mustangs.

Averaging almost 13 yards per carry, Young was amongst the most prolific running backs in the state, scoring 23 touchdowns, amassing over 1,600 yards on the season, en route to being named All-State by the Omaha World Herald and Super-State by the Lincoln Journal star. Combine that with his 6 foot, 195 pound frame, he's not just athletic, but can be seen as a kid that can play a variety of positions, on either side of the ball.

Petito said of Young's commit to the Huskers, he thought it was good for him and nice to see one of his players head to Nebraska, because for years, Millard North has been a significant contributor to the Husker roster.

"Gosh, we had a lot of guys there like Eric (Crouch), Judd Davies, Pat Ricketts," he said "This staff really hasn't gotten a chance to see what Millard North players are like and the kind of work ethic they have, but it's always good when we have kids that go to Nebraska."

Young's teammate, starting quarterback Jeff Tarpanian is a commit himself, but to the Iowa Hawkeyes instead. Petito said that based on the experiences Iowa has had with some of his players, he thinks that was key in Tarpanian getting an offer there, but also a reason why Iowa was going after Young. "We have a couple of kids there (Iowa) already, that have done really well, so they see the work ethic of these kids," Petito said of current Hawkeyes offensive lineman Seth Olsen and cornerback Adam Shada. "I think that's why they didn't hesitate very much when it came to "Tarp" and why they started going after Corey.

RB/LB - Paul Homer

Having sent 11 players to the division 1-A ranks in the last four years, coach Petito has a good idea of what translates and what doesn't. When he takes a look at Corey and how he projects, he doesn't seem much that won't. "He's really got it all, but that explosion of his and he does so much in the open field, I think he's  going to be a very good player for Nebraska," he said.

Some are going to question Nebraska going after a kid who has tore not just one ACL, but two, and is currently undergoing his second surgery today. Can a kid come back after such a serious injury for a second time? Petito said that he's seen enough of Young to know that isn't even a question someone needs to ask. "I wasn't sure how he could come back after his first one, but he came back even stronger and better than he was before," he said. "He'll come back from this one. I don't have any doubt about that."

"I don't think he'd accept anything less."

Young becomes the 16th commit of the class of 2006 and the fourth from inside the state. He'll join fellow Mustang, freshman T.J. O'Leary as the two Millard North players that will be on the Husker roster next season.

Petito is happy for Young, of course, but happier that Nebraska has picked up yet another one of his kids. And it's his hope that this year, there's potentially one more to go. "I know they are looking at Paul," the head coach said of another All-State performer in running back/linebacker Paul Homer. "It'd be nice to see him go there, but honestly, I am just happy when all these kids get to go to college for free."

"It is nice, though, to see some of them stay in-state."

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