Running back recruit Mikale Wilbon, a 5-foot-9, 195-pounder who is rated four stars by 247 Sports and Rivals and three stars by Scout and ESPN, took his official visit to Nebraska Jan. 17 after decommitting from Vanderbilt once coach James Franklin left for Penn State.
“He loved Coach Franklin, and when he left for Penn State, that really impacted his decision,” said Mike Boehm, who coached on the De La Salle staff in the fall and took over as head coach after the season. “He's a special player. Nebraska's going to love him. His drive. His leadership. He's one of those special backs. I'm glad he's playing in the Big Ten.”
Wilbon had offers from Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas and Georgia Tech, among other schools. He gained more than 1,000 yards in each of the last three seasons, but was sidelined late last fall by a minor knee injury, Boehm said. Wilbon was part of the “special mention” list on the Chicago Tribune's all-state team. Another NU pledge, Highland (Ill.) guard Tanner Farmer, was on the first team.
“I can catch the ball out of the backfield, I can have speed, I can have moves," Wilbon said. "I want to be an all-around player. But one thing I always want to do is keep working on everything.”
With his commitment, Wilbon joined Houston-area running back Larenzo Stewart, who pledged to the Huskers during the summer. Presuming Stewart's pledge sticks, he and Wilbon join a crowded 2014 backfield that thins considerably after the departure of All-Big Ten running back Ameer Abdullah and junior running back Imani Cross after the 2015 season.
Behind them, sophomore Terrell Newby ran for 298 yards in his first year, while Adam Taylor chose to redshirt, winning scout team offensive player of the year honors in the process. Husker coaches agreed to let Taylor redshirt; he likely would have pushed for playing time had he chosen to forgo it.
Wilbon is currently rehabbing a partial ACL tear that forced him to miss the final four games last fall, after he had started the year with 984 yards (13.1 per carry) and 16 touchdowns in the Meteors’ first seven games.
Wilbon announced his decision on Twitter:
* * *
MORE FROM OMAHA.COM
Chicago running back chooses Huskers over offers from Mizzou, Iowa, others
* * *
Video: Mikale Wilbon's 2013 highlights