Defensive back leaning towards Nebraska

With the Huskers '09 class starting to fill up, only a few spots remain available. With that in mind, about two weeks ago Nebraska made an offer to Lazarri Middleton, a defensive back out of California. Recently Big Red Report spoke to the 6-foot-1 corner with 4.4 speed to gauge his interest in the Huskers. According to Lazarri, he would like one of those final spots in the class to be his.

Most high school football player's seasons are done at this point, but not Lazarri Middleton from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. His season continues this week with another playoff battle.

"I just got back home from practice, we are still in the playoffs," said Middleton. "We had a hard game last week, but we pulled it off 17-10. This week is the semi-finals against Lakewood. They have a nice team with a good offense, but we should be ready."

When his season does end, Lazarri also plans to finish his senior year by competing in another sport.

"After football ends I'm going to run track. I run the 100 and 200 meter, and this year I'll probably run a few relays. My best time in the 100 is 10.8, I've ran that a couple times."

As far as the recruiting process, Lazarri said three teams have stepped up to the plate with offers so far and several more are in contact.

"I've got offers from Nebraska, SMU and Idaho State. I've also heard from Texas A&M, UCLA, Texas Tech, Louisville, TCU and a few others.

"I just got that Nebraska offer like a week or two ago. The letter I got from Nebraska is dated November 21st, so it was sometime around then. It put a big smile on my face when I got that Nebraska offer, that's a big-time offer. I started doing research on them on the internet. I think they would be a perfect fit for me."

What makes you say that?

"There aren't a lot of distractions out there. It's just school and football and I like that. They take their football serious. I know from watching them on television they need some help in the defensive backfield, and I feel like with my skills I could see the field early. They also have some of the best facilities in the nation."

He has had a chance to speak to members of the Husker coaching staff, including the head man. Lazarri says he likes what he hears.

"I had a good talk with coach Sanders, real cool guy. He told me a lot about his background. I know he played at Nebraska and he was a corner too. A lot of coaches are coaching out of a book, but he is coaching from experience.

"I also spoke to coach Pelini. I know he was the LSU defensive coordinator last year when they won it all. I like the idea of playing for a defensive coach. I know he is hard on his players; he is going to yell at you here and there. That's the type of coach I want, and I think that's the type of coach that a team needs to be motivated. He can still connect with you on a friend level too, he is a players coach."

Did they mention what position they're recruiting you at?

"They want me at corner. I'm 6-foot-1 and I weigh 190 but I still run a 4.4. They said there are a lot of big receivers in that conference and they need bigger corners. I feel like I'm a guy that can do that. I saw that Colorado game and they play a lot of nickel and dime, they just need DB's."

Lazarri, like most Husker Nation, didn't know what to expect when Bo Pelini sent out Alex Henery to try a 57 yarder to win the game against CU.

"I was like, no way he makes that. Kickers in the NFL can't make that kick. But what else could he do, it was fourth and 25! I saw the interview after the game with coach Pelini and he said he asked the kicker if he could make it. He said yes so he sent him out there and he came through. I was like wow. But that number 93 can play too."

Even though Lazarri would have liked to make it in for a game in Lincoln this year, he still has plans to take an official visit.

"Coach was telling me the first or second week of January looks good, that's when I'll be out there. Coach Sanders said they are headed to the Gator Bowl, so it will be right after they get back from that."

Even though he has an official visit to SMU this weekend (12/5), he said he already has an idea in mind where he might end up.

"I'm going out to SMU for my official visit, but I don't plan to commit. I think Nebraska is where I want to be. I want to go on my visit to Nebraska and check everything out, but right when I get back home from that visit I'm going to commit to Nebraska. I really like the school and I know I'll like it out there."

Middleton says he is fully qualified academically (1470 SAT). Stay with Big Red Report as we keep you abreast on the recruitment of Lazarri Middleton.

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