Ryan Held identified Thomas Grayson as an under-the-radar prospect in his recruiting area. In charge of recruiting the Plains states, among other responsibilities, the Nebraska running backs coach’s efforts with Grayson served a dual purpose: recruiting both his area and the position he leads.
Consider it two birds with one stone.
Grayson committed to Nebraska on Monday evening, two days after a memorable junior day visit. Meeting Held and coach Scott Frost, seeing the rest of the staff in action and checking out Lincoln sealed the deal for him.
The Huskers now have their first commitment from a skill-position player in the 2019 class. From Tulsa, Okla., he is also the first out-of-state commit in the group and the fourth member of the class, joining in-state prospects Ethan Piper, Garrett Nelson and Garrett Snodgrass.
Nebraska has added a back with size and speed, a lethal combination Held strives to recruit. He found it in Grayson, who also doubles as a track star (running a 10.7 100-meter dash), and stands at 6-foot, 190 pounds.
Held has taken it upon himself to lock down the Plains for the Huskers. He took advantage of the fact that the two marquee in-state programs — Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — had not offered. By getting in on the ground floor, Nebraska had a significant advantage. Expect Held to continue that trend with other prospects he likes.
In turn, Grayson rewarded Nebraska’s efforts and prioritization with an early commitment, rather than taking more visits and waiting to see if his offer list grows throughout his senior season. When he told me Saturday he would commit within the week, I didn’t think he meant 48 hours later. Once again, it’s a testament to how impressive Nebraska was to him and how comfortable Held and the rest of the staff made him and his father, who accompanied him on the trip, feel.
Nebraska is expected to add at least one more running back to the class, so Grayson will have company come the early signing period or National Signing Day.
As Nebraska tries to build the foundation of the class, Grayson’s commitment will be a key one to hold. For the time being, he’s a solid addition in a class that features four 3-star prospects.
Another interesting wrinkle with Grayson’s commitment is that Nebraska’s offer came in the days after Tennessee extended an offer of their own. The two teams duked it out quite a bit on the recruiting trail in the 2018 class, and now Nebraska has a win in the 2019 group. Grayson canceled an unofficial visit with the Volunteers in favor of returning to Lincoln for the spring game in a couple of weeks.
And when he does make that trip, he will do so as a Nebraska commit.