When Justin McGriff realized he was ready to commit to Nebraska, the first member of the coaching staff he wanted to tell was new tight ends coach Sean Beckton. Beckton, after all, was one of the primary reasons McGriff backed off his UCF commitment and committed to the Huskers one night after his official visit to Lincoln on Sunday.
The 3-star receiver’s commitment to Nebraska was a swift process that took only one week. McGriff received his offer when coach Scott Frost visited him at Thomas Jefferson (Tampa, Fla.) High School on Dec. 4. A week later, announced his de-commitment from UCF and about six hours later, he tweeted that he would be committing to Nebraska.
But there was a catch. Beckton, along with offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Troy Walters, were not named officially to the Huskers staff until late last week. Wherever Beckton wound up, McGriff was likely to follow.
So when it was made official that Walters and Beckton indeed were joining Frost at Nebraska, the Huskers were positioned to land McGriff, who told Beckton the good news earlier Monday, much to the coach’s delight.
“He was really excited,” McGriff told Land of 10 on Monday. “He wanted me to post it as soon as possible.”
All along, playing for Beckton and the rest of the coaching staff was a priority for McGriff.
“I know what this coaching staff is going to bring,” McGriff said. “I know how high-intensity the coaching staff is. I was blessed to receive the offer [to Nebraska]. I was happy. Once I got up there, I got the same feeling like I did at UCF, like I did the first time I met them. It was very important to stay with this coaching staff.”
During his official visit, McGriff took a liking to the facilities. While meeting with the coaches over the weekend, he had a moment of clarity. The fact the coaches offered him immediately after the transition demonstrated trust in McGriff, and the gesture was not lost on him.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I could play here,'” McGriff said. “I could play in the Big Ten.”
In that span of a week, McGriff’s official visit was the final domino in his flip to Nebraska. Although he was sure to take note of the colder weather, the allure of playing Big Ten football for a staff that has now recruited him to two schools made it an easy decision. By the time he left campus Sunday night, his mind was essentially made up.
“After the visit I felt good about it,” McGriff said. “I wanted to go home and sleep on it. I wanted to see how I felt, and I felt good about it so I went ahead and made my decision.
“My family is very supportive. They’re supportive of my decision.”
McGriff is the No. 167 wideout in the 2018 class, per the 247Sports composite. At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, McGriff’s frame will make him an attractive receiving target for a future Nebraska quarterback.
“I really can’t wait to get up there and get started,” he said.