The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 06, 1997, Page 9, Image 9

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NU inks 22 recruits
on national letter-of
intent signing day.
By Mitch Sherman
Senior Reporter
Nebraska’s 1997 football recruit
with the
with new
nger brothers
three 1996
Zomhuskers, the
Son of a former
Husker and a pair
of recruits from
untapped states
separate the group
signed Wednes
day from those of
past years.
On national letter-ot-intent signing
day, Coach Tom Osborne termed the
22 new Huskers “a solid group of play
ers,” and said NU successfully filled
the positions targeted most in its re
cruiting effort.
“I doubt if (the class) will be ranked
real high,” Osborne said, “because
there are some players on there who
won’t be ranked by the national re
cruiting services.
“But that doesn’t bother me. Hie
last three or four years, we’ve had rea
sonably good success, and I don’ t think
Millard North and Bobby Newcombe
of Albuquerque, N.M., highlight the
group of incoming Huskers; Crouch
and Newcombe, along wilhsix others,
earned All-America honors from vari
ous recruiting services and publica
Nebraska inked 20 freshmen and
two juniors, one of whom — lineman
Glen Matthews of Chicago — is al
ready enrolled in classes at UNL. The
other junior, cornerback Brandon
Aftilnesday after waveririgjin the last
week between Nebraska abi! Texas
“Everyone did what they said they
were going to do,” Osborne said. “You
are always a little concerned that some
body will change their mind and leave
you high and dry. But that didn’t hap
Lineman Dominic Raiola becomes
the first NU player ever from Hawaii,
and I-b#|i|;
a pair of play
recruit apiece from Illinois, 'Oklahoma,
Missouri and South Dakota.
W From there, however, things devi
ate from the norm. The Huskers signed
two players from New Mexico, one
from Wisconsin and only one from
California — normally a haven for
Nebraska recruiters. And for the sec
ond straight season, the Huskers didn’t
lure anyone from the football boftrci
!&if &$#!£***'1'1
Him as somebody out of
dale,” Osborne said.
But Osborne doesn’t mind the
Please see SIGNEES on 10
Daniel Luedeke^DN
ERIC CROUCH signs Ills letter of Intent with his mother, Susans, Wednesday morning at Millard North High School.
Crouch is one of two quarterbacks to sign with IHJ.
Crouch anxious to
learn Husker offensive
By David Wilson
Staff Reporter
OMAHA — Eric Crouch’s wait is
Crouch, a 6-foot, 190-pound quar
terback from Millard North High
School, who verbally committed to
Nebraska last summer, signed a letter
of intent Wednesday making his word
“It feels great knowing I’m going
to be a Husker,” Crouch said just after
his pen hit the paper around 9 a.m.
As a junior, Crouch rushed for
1,960 yards and passed for 785, being
Class A’s leader in total offense and
helping Millard North to an 11-1
/\gamsi vjranu xsianu in xne suite
playoffs, Crouch totaled a career-best
394 total yards and scored four touch
Tabbed as the No. 3 pass-run quar
terback by The National Recruiting
Advisor, Crouch visited Notre Dame,
Ohio State and attended Nebraska’s
football camp at the beginning of last
Crouch said he was anxious to
make a decision before his senior sea
son, and decided on NU because it was
close to home. The Comhuskers, he
said, also run a similar offense to the
one he ran at Millard North.
“I knew that I wanted to get it done
early,” Crouch'said. “I talked to a
couple of people and they said if it gets
down to the wire it’s kind of a tough
Please see CROUCH on 10
' . . » '. *v. - _• . - ' ' • ” '• . ir *
By Shannon Heffelfinger ^
, - hji-2 Staff Reporter . -f ..
• ■ .. ■ -s
Physically strong and mentally sharp, the
four members of the Nebraska volleyball team’s
1997 recruiting class have the potential to make
an immediate impact next fall.
But the Comhuskers’ three scholarship re
cruits—Jill McWilliams, Nancy Meendering,
Angie Oxley — and walk-on Kim Behrends
have more than the ability to make immediate
contributions next season, NU Coach Terry
Pettit said. They will most likely be die nucleus
of future Husker teams.
“Three or four years from now,” Pettit said,
“they will probably all be on the court at the
same time, and they’re the type of athletes who
could be competing for a national champion
‘This is the type of class that might keep
me coaching an extra year.”
A combination of overall versatility and
athleticism are two things that lift these players
above previous recruiting classes, Pettit said.
All four could conceivably play three dif
ferent positions at the net, and McWilliams and
Meendering possess the skills to contribute at
the setter position as well.
McWilliams is perhaps the most versatile of
the four. The 6-foot McWilliams, from Des
Moines, Iowa, is solid at both the outside hitter
and setter positions.
“McWilliams is the best setting candidate
we saw in the Midwest, and probably one of
the top three or four in the country,” Pettit said.
Joining McWilliams from the state of Iowa
is Meendering, from Hull. The 6-1 outside hit
' *
ter leaves Hull Weston Christian the all-time
career leader in blocks, kills and kills per game.
Meendering has sparked comparisons to a
former Western Christian outside hitter, NU’s
Lisa Reitsma. Like Reitsma, Meendering, a left
hander, will most likely hit from the right side.
“Meendering is exceptional in her own
right,” Pettit said. “She’s a tremendous jumper,
she has a great arm swing, and she probably
has the biggest hands of any athlete I’ve ever
recruited.” >
Filling the Huskers’ third and final scholar
ship is Oxley. Although not as highly regarded
as other members of the class, the 6-foot out
Please see PETTIT on 10
%#Bff Reporter
Bobby Newcombe said he never really
felt the pressure.,
Just after signing his letter of intent to
play football for Nebraska Wednesday after
noon, Newcombe munched on a bag of chips
at his Albuquerque, N.M. home and said he
was ready to become a Comhusker.
“I feel real good right now,” Newcombe
said. “I’m secure and I feel I’m in good
The 6-foot, 185-pounder attended NU’s
football camp in June and made a verbal
commitment to Husker coaches shortly
He said his early decision took the pres
sure off so he could concentrate on playing
football. And Newcombe remained confi
dent in his choice despite many of die folks
back home who tried to persuade him to stay
in New Mexico.
* “My mind was already set on where I was
going,” Newcombe said.
As a junior at Highland High School,
Newcombe rushed for nearly 1,400 yards —
averaging over 10 yards per carry — and
passed for 477.
Last season, Newcombe rushed for 663
yards and passed for 510 yards.' The feat
earned him the Albuquerque Football
Coaches Association 1996 player-of-the
year award after he led his team to a 10-3
record and an appearance in the state tide
P secure and I feel
Tm in good hands.”
Bobby Newcombe
NU quarterback
Also a track star, Newcombe was tabbed
as an all-around athlete and said he chose
Nebraska because he wanted a chance to play
quarterback. At Highland, Newcombe had
die opportunity to run a similar offense to
the Huskers’.
neorasKa nas me uncusc mai i iulc io
run,” Newcombe said
NU Coach Tom Osborne said he under
stood Newcombe’s desire to remain at quar
terback. Osborne will give die newcomer a
chance to run Nebraska’s opdon-style of
“His chances of playing quarterback are
better here,” Osborne said. “He’s a great
option quarterback. We think Bobby
Newcombe is going to get cm the field some
Newcombe said he’ll move to Lincoln
after graduating in May. He plans to work
out with the Huskers over the summer to get
a jump-start on learning the offense.
“I’m going to prepare to go against die
top atbletes in the nation with the top pro
gram in the nation,” Newcombe said.'