LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska ended up with the No. 23-rated class on 247Sports but that’s not what this story is about.
So today, we’re handing out some non-traditional awards (and looking into the future a bit) for the 2017 class.
Who’s the future fan favorite? Who will look the scariest on game day? Who is Mike Riley’s favorite?
And thus, the awards:
Most personable/future media favorite: Jaevon McQuitty
The 4-star wide receiver talked to Land of 10 at his high school in December and couldn’t have been more genuine. He’s also pretty funny. When I asked him what he thought of wide receivers coach Keith Williams, McQuitty laughed for probably five seconds. Then he looked at me and got really serious and said: “He’s a dog, man. He’s a dog.”
He’ll be a great quote.
Mike Riley’s favorite: Ben Miles
If memory serves me right, Riley brought Miles up seven times during his press conference on Wednesday. (OK, it was three, but most were unprompted.)
The 3-star recruit also plays fullback, so Nebraskans already inherently love him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also been called the next Andy Janovich on Twitter. Miles is also the son of a coach (just like Riley) and just kind of has that old-school football feel to him that Riley likes.
Mike Riley’s least favorite: Wide receiver Jamire Calvin, who signed with Washington State instead of Nebraska
“I got three commitments from the guy,” Riley said. “That might be a record.”
You tell me Riley’s not at least a little bitter about Calvin?
Magnet award: Keyshawn Johnson Jr.
I don’t know exactly what this award means, but Riley called Johnson a “magnet” on Wednesday and it sounded cool enough that I thought it should be on here.
Johnson was a pretty big part in bringing the “Calibraska” recruits — and attention — to Nebraska. So it does make sense. Plus, if there’s anyone in the class who is going to attract attention to 2018 recruits, that would be Keyshawn.
The Softy: Damion Daniels
Have you seen Daniels’ commitment yet? Watch it.
This is cool. Daniels, a 3-star defensive tackle from Dallas, wasn’t super outspoken about his recruitment but gave a pretty cool and sincere speech on National Signing Day. That’s something you don’t see a lot.
The future fan favorite: Tyjon Lindsey
Lindsey invited fans to his National Signing Day ceremony on Twitter. But there was such a surge of fans asking when and where that he and his high school actually had to cancel it.
It’s also a little against the rules, but still.
The 4-star wide receiver and highest-rated recruit in the 2017 class already has a Kenny Bell-like relationship with the fans. That doesn’t seem like it’ll go away any time soon.
The next Ameer Abdullah: Jaylin Bradley
Underrated and told he couldn’t play running back at the Division I level. Bradley has the Abdullah formula down pat. He’s also a dark horse to be a fan favorite, too, if the Bellevue West (Neb.) back can get on the field and make some plays in his career. Nebraska fans love nothing better than home-state prospects doing well on the field.
Most Likely to Never Get the Credit He Deserves: Tristan Gebbia
I mean, Gebbia is a quarterback, so this award is kind of a given.
Right now might be the best Gebbia will ever be in the minds of Husker Nation. That will begin to decline during spring game warm-ups, when fans see him miss a receiver or throw a ball a tad high.
The 4-star quarterback already deserves a hefty amount of credit for helping recruit most of the players in the class. Every recruit I talked to, even those who committed elsewhere, said Gebbia talked to everyone constantly throughout the process. Gebbia even created a group chat with the commits, so they could all stay in communication. It’s a bummer that he won’t pan out in some people’s eyes, even if he wins the starting job in a few years.
Next guy to look as scary as Dylan Utter on game day: Broc Bando
So here’s Utter, the Nebraska center, in face paint and as terrifying as ever before a game:
And here’s Bando, a Nebraska offensive line recruit:
C’mon. Tell me you don’t see him with black paint all over his face snarling at a defensive lineman.