Future Husker and potential Husker visit NU

One is already signed as a Husker, and the other is a potential Husker as he holds a written offer from the big red. That's two different perspectives. But for Fort Scott duo Brandon Kinnie and Jermarcus Hardrick, it took them to the same place. We talked to both following their trip to Lincoln to get their input on where things are at and heading.

For Brandon Kinnie, the recent trip to Nebraska was a chance to once again see the place he would call home for the rest of his collegiate career. For Jermarcus Hardrick, it's a place that he's looking at for that potential. Both attend Fort Scott Junior College, but while Kinnie has made his choice, signed and is just waiting to get to school, Hardrick is still trying to sort the process out.

So, it was good for both when they made a recent unofficial visit to Lincoln to see it. For Kinnie, you can figure out where his interest lied. "I just wanted to see what the wide receivers were doing, see how Coach Gilmore was doing his thing and just see how the players and coaches interact," Kinnie said. "You want to see where you fit in, what you might be doing and all that."

For Hardrick he could watch his position coach as well, but at this point it's only potential. "I don't know the coaches there that well, so I wanted to see how they were, what they did and see what they coached like," Hardrick said. "I like Coach Cotton. He's a guy who I just feel really comfortable around."

From that point paths of interest differ a tad, because when Hardrick is looking at the other offensive linemen, those are players he may compete against at some point were he to choose the Huskers. For Kinnie these were the same faces he would see when he is scheduled to arrive in June.

Kinnie didn't look at those other players at his position as potential competition, but players he'd compete with down the road. "We are all going to be trying for time on the field, but a lot of it comes down to how we work together, because there's never just one wide receiver on the field at a time," Kinnie said. "And I see where I would fit in. I look at what I can do, and I know I could help the team."

At 6-3 and around 215 pounds, Kinnie no doubt has the size for the position. A self-described "physical" receiver Kinnie not only is effective at getting off the line, but blocking, as well. But then there is his speed. Running a reported 4.37/40 the combination of those wheels that physicality make him a formidable weapon.

Kinnie said that from Wide Receivers Coach Ted Gilmore and even other players, he's had his name thrown in the same sentence with another who wasn't at Nebraska long ago and made a solid impression. "They say I remind them of Maurice Purify in how I am able to go out and get the ball, fight for the ball and my ability to catch it," Kinnie said of being compared to the former Husker, current Cincinnati Bengal. "But I guess the speed is the difference."

Hardrick obviously isn't getting the same types of comparisons, of course. He's not a Husker and may choose to go someplace else. He's certainly got the options. With a reported seven offers from schools like Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Arkansas, South Florida and, of course, Nebraska, he's got choices galore. A far cry from his prep days, but not due to a lack of a ability. "I didn't have the grades, so nobody really recruited me. But now that I do the attention has really been there," Hardrick said. "I would have have been happy with one choice, but now I have a few."

Hardick also had to chime in about Kinnie, whom he traveled to Nebraska with, because he may not know who Maurice Purify is or was, he knows Kinnie well enough. "That guy is fast. I mean, for someone his size, you don't see them with that kind of speed," Hardrick said of Kinnie who had 56 receptions for 815 yards and nine touchdowns this last season for Fort Scott. "He's going to be a big weapon for them."

Kinnie would like to agree, but he says that he's confident, just not too much so. "I think I can bring something different to the table for them. I am a bigger guy who can really stretch the field," he said. "They have great receivers, though, and you have to earn your spot on the field. I think I can do that, but you don't talk about stuff like that. You just do it. You earn your spot by what you can get done."

After looking at the receiving corps for a couple of days, Kinnie said that he likes what he sees. There's size, there's speed and lots of guys with good hands. Where he plans to fit in or at least, wants to, is that his mentality, that ability to be physical and fast, is as much a benefit to the running game as it is when they start chucking it through the air. "Sometimes I like being physical too much, because I may have a shot to get away from a guy, but I like the contact," he said. "I'll just fight him and make him beat me physically, because to me there's no way he'll beat me. "

Unlike Kinnie where finesse can often help Hardrick's line of work is a bit different. You have to be physical, or you might as well not show up. At 6-6 and over 300 pounds, that suits him just fine. But being physical isn't enough. You have to finish. "It's not really a block to me or a good one, unless I get the "pancake," Hardrick said of wanting to knock someone on their back on every play. "That tells the guy you are facing that he's in for a long day. It's the part about the game I like the best. But if you don't like that kind of contact, you should probably find another sport."

Kinnie is going to Nebraska, and Nebraska is one of a few choices Hardrick has as to places he could go in the future. But they were up there together, and there's no doubt that if the junior college offensive lineman wants to know something about NU, he's got a pretty good source. Hardrick said that it's good, but said that Kinnie isn't too persistent about the both of them playing together at the same place.

But he does bring it up.

"He's been in my ear about it, but not too much. He said that the decision has to be up to me," he said about Kinnie. "I'd like to play with him, but where you go to college shouldn't be about someone else. It has to be about yourself. But yeah, if I have questions about Nebraska, he's right there, and he's going to be there for good in a few months."

Kinnie can't wait for that time. He says it's all he thinks about, and after his recent visit he wasn't that thrilled to head back to Kansas for school. "Oh yeah, I wanted to stay. June can't get here fast enough," he said about when he expects to arrive on campus after graduating from Fort Scott. "I have 19 more credits to take care of, and then I'll be on my way."

It will be much longer for Hardrick, as he'll most likely have a year beyond now before he arrives at a campus, but for now that suits him just fine. "I didn't want to go to Junior College, but it worked out. I am definitely sitting in a good place right now," he said. "But I can't rush into anything right now. People say to me that I need to take my time, take my visits and make sure I know as much as I need to know.

"Then I'll make my decision."

He likes Nebraska, though. He won't hedge on that. "It's a great place with a great tradition and I could see myself going there," he said. "Coach Pelini is a real straight forward guy , and I like Coach Cotton a lot. I know it's a great place. I just don't know that it's the best place for me."

So, his decision will come more than likely, after his sophomore season of football concludes. He's fine with that. Kinnie still has to take some more classes before he can arrive to the Lincoln campus in June. He'd just as soon fast forward that if he could.

But both are in a good place right now from what they say. Kinnie has a good idea about what the future holds, and Hardrick knows that he's got a solid future in front of him, no matter where he decides. That's not a bad place to be.

"it's great. I can't wait to get there and see what I can do. I know I can help the team," Kinnie said.

Hardrick agreed about the future holding great things "It's a great situation to be in for me right now. I have all these great choices and the time to figure it out. That way I can figure out the right team for me."

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