John Raridon is a born and bred Husker.
His dad, Scott Raridon, was an offensive lineman for the Huskers in the 1980's. So when NU became the first school to offer the younger Raridon way back in November 2013, his connection to the program made it all the more special.
But that didn't always guarantee he'd end up in Lincoln. John's older brothers both signed to play college football, but neither with the Huskers. Scott Jr. played at Notre Dame and Sam signed with Wisconsin but opted not to pursue football.
John would be the one to follow in his father's footsteps, though. He announced his commitment to NU one minute after midnight on Sept. 28, 2014. A visit for the Huskers' 45-14 win over Illinois was what sealed the deal.
“The energy of the stadium and the fans kind of pushed me over the edge,” Raridon told The World-Herald after he committed. “For a minute there, I thought I was going to suit up and play.”
The decision was his alone, and his father's legacy at NU didn't play much of a factor.
“He really wanted me to make my own decision,” John Raridon said. “He just said he feels like I made the right choice for me. He said playing college football was one of the best times of his life.”
Raridon never wavered in his commitment during the almost 500 days between when he committed and when he'll sign with the Huskers.
That's even with the coaching change that came to NU at the end of the 2014 season. Mike Cavanaugh took over for John Garrison as his lead recruiter and picked up where he left off.
"He seems like a pretty fun guy to be around," Raridon said during an appearance on "The Bottom Line" in July 2015. "Like when you’re not working he’s going to be a guy to joke around with you, just one of the guys. But you can tell he is serious on the football field, and I’m excited to play for him."
Raridon became the second in his family to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl. His brother Scott, the one that went to Notre Dame, participated in the high school all-star game 14 years earlier.
Raridon was first named All-State as a sophomore in 2013. He received that honor three straight times.
Scout named Raridon to its 25-person All-America team.
Raridon's a consensus four-star prospect. He's the No. 1 player in the state of Iowa, according to Scout, ESPN and Rivals. He's a Top Five offensive guard prospect nationally, according to the 247 composite.
No doubt a big get for NU, with Raridon featuring a nice blend of skill, toughness, athleticism and power. Versatile enough to play either tackle or guard, but likely projects at guard with Huskers. Broke through during the latter part of his freshman year to start at West Des Moines Valley, so Raridon probably won’t hesitate to launch himself into the mix at the earliest chance he gets.
Below is his tweet from when he announced his commitment to the Huskers:
After my 2016 season I will be attending the university of Nebraska. #ProudToBeaHusker— John Raridon (@hines_bittleman) September 28, 2014
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