Nebraska coach Bo Pelini got his first commit for the 2014 recruiting class delivered in person. Lincoln Southeast safety/tight end Luke Gifford attended practice on March 11, and told Pelini “I’m ready to be in.”
"Welcome to the family," Gifford said in an interview.
The 6-foot-3 195-pounder received an offer the just six days earlier, sat on it and then pulled the trigger figuring that, no matter what schools pursued him, he was sticking with Nebraska.
“I just felt like there were no other schools that could pull me away,” Gifford said.
Gifford also had offers from Toledo and Ohio.
"He's really physically gifted, but he's a great leader for our team," Southeast coach Ryan Gottula said before last season. "He focuses on it. And he's a vocal leader when he needs to be."
He said Nebraska sees him at linebacker or safety. NU wants him to gain weight either way.
"I've put on a little weight, and when I get to Nebraska, they'll help me put on a little bit more weight," Gifford said. "I've been focusing on getting stronger and faster, and my footwork at safety. We'll see how it plays out.
"If I get bigger, I'll be a linebacker. If not, I'm a safety. My physicality and my tackling ability is something I pride myself on and I'm confident in."
As a defensive back, Gifford was named to The World-Herald's all-state first team as a senior and was second team as a junior. Gifford, who also started at quarterback, had 50 tackles and two interceptions his final season in high school.
Before his senior season, Gifford was named to The World-Herald's Super 6 team, along with teammate D.J. Foster, who later committed to Nebraska as a guard. Foster's brother, Trey, also plays for the Huskers.
Gifford’s pitch to Foster?
“A lot of people don’t get the chance to play college football with some of their best friends and their brother at the same time,” Gifford said.
* * *
MORE FROM OMAHA.COM
* * *
>> Mike'l Severe interviews Gifford
>> Highlights of Gifford's senior season:
>> A Q&A with The World-Herald after being named to the Super 6 team:
>> Some highlights of Lincoln Southwest's win over Millard South last season: