Las Vegas prep waiting for good news from NU

One of the reasons 2011 commit Ryne Reeves got his offer from the Huskers was due to how he did against this player. Maybe it's irony then that how this player did against Reeves was why he got an offer as well. He's for the year 2010, but it begs the question: will he be another future Husker?

Arbor View (Las Vegas, NV) defensive end Kenny Mack has a unique situation. Until around the age 15 he was in Heidelberg, Germany, living with his dad, who as a member of the United States Army, was stationed there between his tours in Iraq. He went on his third tour, and at that point Kenny made the decision to come back to the states to live.

And yes, to play football.

You see, the recruiting services might seemingly be everywhere, but it wouldn't be out of the question for people to miss a football player in Germany. "My dad went to Iraq, and I knew I wasn't really going to get noticed over there, or it would be harder," Kenny said.

The only problem with that was, even though the grading system was the same there as it is at Arbor View, the classes aren't. That's led to Mack, a 6-3, 260 lbs. defensive tackle/end, knowing that while his team will be on the football field his senior year, he won't. "It was just that some of the classes I took there don't fit what the NCAA requires me to have. So, I have to take some additional classes to qualify," he said. "I have a government class I have to take, and then there will be one more."

Mack may not be able to compete this year, but he did last year, totaling 53 tackles, 13 of those solo, including one sack. That total was good enough for an average of 5.3 tackles per game, ranking him second on his team by the end of the year. His performance was also good enough to warrant an offer from UNLV, the school he's currently committed to.

But Mack came back to get his name out there, and that's just what he did, and it's what the entire trip to Nebraska was about. But Nebraska being the choice as to where he'd camp was a bit "weird" as Mack recalled. "Yeah, it was kind of strange, because it was just a school I heard something about, but the more I looked the more I liked," he said. "It's really all about football there. There isn't much to do. It's a great place for me to start over, work hard and show everyone what I can do."

Obviously, he did that at the camp he attended during the month of June. And what amazed Mack the most was stuff other coaches tried to drill in his head over years he actually soaked in at the Husker camp in just a matter of days, and from the Husker Head Coach himself. "It was just stuff that I was being taught, but I wasn't quite getting it, and they had been beating it over my head forever," he said. "But Coach Pelini, a couple of days with him and it just happened," he said. "He has this way of talking to you, telling you how things are, but teaching you in a way that he's going to let you know what you did wrong. He's not going to sugar coat it. But he's got a message that you have to listen to."

Just talking about it was something that got Mack excited, especially when he got a chance to strap it on and go at it in the one-on-one drills. It was a chance to do something he won't be able to do for this entire year. It's where he said he got to show what he believes makes him the kind of player he is and will make him an even better player down the road. "My hands are good, and I have a bum-rush  technique that I think works really well. Plus, I think my strength is coming off the edge," he said. "But it's also my mentality, because it says that once the ball is snapped I'm there, I'm going the distance and the guy I'm going against isn't going to get off that line, he's not pushing me off the ball and I will get into the backfield if that's where I'm supposed to be."

Mack said Pelini may be stern, but he
said there's a purpose behind his
demeanor.



Mack got that tested during this camp. And not by a kid the same age as Mack, but someone a bit younger.

Ryne Reeves, a Crete offensive lineman and the first Husker commit for the class of 2011, was the showcase, if you will. Actually, it was when Reeves and Mack faced off. Mack remembers it well, and said that the kid may be a bit younger, but he's going to be something down the road. "That kid is a beast. We were going at it really good. I called him out a couple of times, and he got me. But it was fun," he said. "He's a monster. He's going to be really good."

Tight Ends Coach Ron Brown is the primary recruiter for Mack, and is a person Mack said is unlike anyone he's met in that profession thus far. "He's by far my favorite coach, ever," Mack said. "He's just a guy who has a message, is sincere about what he says and you know he's going to give you good advice."

To be honest, and I had to ask the question myself, this experience that Mack had, which was topped off by the offer from the Huskers, seemed to be just what he wanted. Everything he said, it revolved around wondering how this situation in regard to his academics would work at Nebraska. Even now, today actually, Mack is going to call Brown to see if they got his transcripts, got the results of his SAT (Mack said he scored a 1500) and see if he's good to go.

If he is Nebraska has offered him a greyshirt his first year, which Mack says is just fine, because it would give him a chance to get really familiar with everything about Nebraska. "I would have the time to get to know everyone, and even though I couldn't work out with the team I could get to know the guys, see what they do and just get a feel for the town and the entire program," Mack said. "I would also be able to take the one course I need at the Community College there, if everything they get right now is what they want."

But he is a UNLV commit still, and Mack isn't ready to change his mind about that. They were the first school after him, after all. And they have been with him since day one. But Mack stated that there is some loyalty there, but in the end he said it will come down to what's best for him. "Loyalty is great, but it has to be a decision which is also better for me in the end. It's got to be what is going to put me in the best situation to succeed," he said. "The UNLV coaches have been great, and I am still a commit there. But I have to do what I have to do for me."

As far as where Nebraska sees him playing, Mack knows he'll be asked to get pressure in the backfield, but from where isn't entirely certain. "They said the three, five and seven-technique, because they think I have the versatility to do it all," said Mack who ran a 4.8/40 at the camp. "I like the edge, but I'll play wherever they need me to play."

So, Mack could become the next Husker for the class of 2010 as early as today. That's not completely unrealistic if he gets good news from Lincoln. But Mack isn't making any predictions about that, because he wants to know what is going on, and once he's thought about things some more he'll figure out the rest. "Well, like I said I am still committed. That's what I can say for right now," he said. "I can't say how this will all turn out. We'll just have to see how it goes."

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