Huskers interested in Illinois LB

The linebacker position for Nebraska this year will be a key emphasis in this year's recruiting class. Nebraska has already hosted one of the top linebackers in the state of Illinois at their junior day earlier this year. That linebacker is holding out hope that a Nebraska offer might be right around the corner.

Jared Culver has been busy since the end of football season. The 6-foot-0.5 and 232-pound linebacker with 4.5 speed is now in the middle of playing baseball for two different teams.

"It's going real good right now," Culver said. "We are in the middle of baseball right now. I play first base for my high school team, but on my traveling team I play center and right field."

Baseball will keep Culver occupied until some unofficial football workouts start to take place. The football practices are arranged by the players and are voluntary.

"We don't have spring practice. Usually a few guys just get together and we will run plays and different routes. We just work out by ourselves. It's illegal to work out as a team, so just a few guys come out and work out."

Culver has been interested on working on a couple of key areas this off season. He said that his speed is acceptable, but you can always go faster and be a little quicker.

"I was working on my overall speed and quickness. I was pretty fast already, but you can always be faster. Also, I was working on my knowledge of the game. The more that I know the easier everything will be as I go."

As a player, Culver says that his biggest strengths come through his game preparation. He can see the ways of his opponent and see his errors that as he begins to apply them on the field that he is able to see things before they happen.

"I would say I watch so much film of myself and the team that we are going to play that I can correct what I do wrong from each week to week. It's getting to a level that I know what's going to happen before it happens."

To date, Culver has yet to receive his first offer, but the first one might not be too far away. He has been getting a lot of interest from a Big 12 school and recently started getting interest from a PAC 10 school.

"None right now. I am getting a lot of interest from Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Stanford just sent me a couple of things this past week, but mostly things from Nebraska."

At the Nebraska Junior Day, Culver was able to get an idea about what Nebraska is looking for in their players. The word: speed.

"It's basically a football state. I went to their junior day and that was a great place to be at. I was told that they are about speed, speed and speed. They are in the Big 12 conference and a lot more teams are passing the ball."

"They were telling me about getting my to my optimum playing weight and not knocking off any of your speed. They really emphasized speed to me. It's an aggressive defense."

Culver said that he wasn't sure what his exact stats were last year at Downers Grove (Ill.) South, but that he knew that he was up there at the top of the leading tacklers.

"I don't know my stats. When my coaches give them out I give them to my dad and my brother. I was all-area and all-conference as a sophomore and the next year I got all-area honorable mention and all-conference."

"We had a pretty studly player playing next to me. He got all-area and all-defensive player of the year last year. It was pretty special playing next to a guy like that."

Since the end of the season Culver has only been able to visit Nebraska. He said that he was able to take an unofficial last fall to a nearby school that some players on his team said that he would like.

"Beyond Nebraska, I haven't. I haven't had a lot of time. I went down to Purdue for a game last year. My mom was really happy about their academics, but then my mom saw Nebraska's academics and she liked that too."


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