Dedrick Young was ready to commit to Nebraska after leading Peoria Centennial to the Division II state football championship in late November.
But he took a step back after Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini was fired to see who they were going to turn to.
After about a week on the job, new Nebraska coach Mike Riley brought in linebackers coach Trent Bray, and they wasted no time reaching out to the 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior linebacker/running back to make sure Young knew he was still a high recruiting priority.
Young wasted no time Monday morning, announcing that he will be attend Nebraska, while also laying out University of Arizona and Michigan State hats in front of him during a news conference at Centennial’s media center.
“It took a week for (Riley) to hire a linebackers coach and they contacted me,” Young said. “I waited to see who they were going to bring in. I had a little bit of relationship when he was at Oregon State.”
Riley came from Oregon State, where he also brought with him defensive coordinator Mark Banker.
Having those guys at Nebraska made it easier for Young to keep Nebraska his No. 1 college. Nebraska was the only school to which he made an official visit during the football season.
“I just felt like it was the right fit for me,” Young said. “I feel there are a lot of opportunities for me.”
Young is graduating this month and will enroll at Nebraska for the spring semester and start spring football.
“I don’t think I’m going to redshirt,” Young said. “There are opportunities for me to compete, I think.”
Young said that he had already made unofficial visits to Michigan State and Arizona and didn’t see the point of making official visits there, especially knowing how much he liked Nebraska.
Centennial coach Richard Taylor said that Young, the school’s second all-time leading tackler, was recruited by half the colleges to play linebacker and another half to play running back.
He is a natural linebacker who turned into a beast of a running back during his varsity career at Centennial, lead the Coyotes in rushing both his junior and senior years.
He had his best games running the ball against the best teams in the state.
“Usually, when they bring kids in at semester, they wants them there for spring football because they probably think the kid has a chance to compete,” Taylor said. “I think he has a chance.”