Nebraska picked up its ninth member of the 2013 class as wide receiver Kevin Gladney committed to the Huskers during his visit in June.
The stoic Akron (Ohio) Firestone wide receiver wasn't tipping his hand, leaving the NU coaches wondering if they had done enough to impress him. Gladney finally laid out his cards in a conversation with head coach Bo Pelini.
“The Nebraska assistants were really nervous before that meeting,” the 6-foot-2 175-pounder said. “After I told Coach Pelini, he took me out of his office and said ‘he's a Husker' and everybody started clapping, shaking hands and congratulating me.”
Gladney chose Nebraska over Iowa and Michigan State. The receiver was recruited by Nebraska assistants Rich Fisher and John Papuchis. He also spoke regularly with former NU graduate assistant Vince Marrow, who filled in for Barney Cotton while the offensive line coach was having surgery.
“I was watching some of their plays and their routes, and I feel I can be a mismatch,” he said. “I know I can also be a decoy out there for my other wideouts and everything, helping them get open. That's what Nebraska football is about. We'll all be on different routes and one of us is going to get open.”
Gladney was an all-city basketball player last season and again is one of the top scorers in the Akron area during his senior year at Firestone High.
Gladney was the first at his position to commit to Nebraska and the fourth 2013 commit to come from the state of Ohio.
“I thought he did a great job for us," Firestone coach Tim Flossie said. "Our passing game wasn’t the greatest, but he made a lot of catches where the ball wasn’t even near him. He just went up, got the ball and went and scored.”
Our take: The fact that Nebraska lost just one receiver (Tim Marlowe) and has Jordan Westerkamp coming out of a redshirt makes it a safe call that Gladney won’t have to play this season. Flossie said that might be best for a player who is going to have to get stronger before taking on Big Ten defensive backs. But the recent development of some players at the position also teases of a promising future for Gladney. His commitment looked a little more important, too, after the Huskers lost Dominic Walker to Auburn.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
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2010, 2011 HIGHLIGHTS:
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