LINCOLN — Terrell Newby had the hometown offer from UCLA. He had the hot-ticket offer to Oregon, too.
But the running back from Los Angeles kept replaying in his mind the visit to Nebraska. And he was just plain sold on how NU coaches Rich Fisher, Ron Brown and Tim Beck explained his role in the Huskers' offense.
“They want to utilize me all over the field, the same way they did Rex,” Newby said.
As in Burkhead, the touted running back from Dallas who spurned an offer from Texas A&M to play at Nebraska. Wednesday, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Newby chose to leave home, too. He picked NU over the Bruins and the Ducks — becoming the highest-ranked commit of the Huskers' 2013 recruiting class.
All major recruiting services rate Newby — who posted back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing seasons and ran for 105 touchdowns in his career at Los Angeles Chaminade High School — as a four-star player. Rivals rates Newby as the No. 1 running back in California and the No. 67 player nationally. Scout rates him as the No. 119 overall player. 247Sports' composite ranking puts Newby at No. 203 overall.
He joins Burkhead, Marlon Lucky and Aaron Green as highly rated running back prospects to join Nebraska since 2005. And Newby cited NU's coaches — specifically Brown and Fisher — as the main reason he's coming.
“It really came down to the people,” Newby said. “The people are awesome.”
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Nebraska also recruited Newby relentlessly since last spring, before his senior season at Chaminade, when he ran for 2,305 yards and 45 touchdowns, including a 360-yard, eight-touchdown performance in a 78-34 win over Harvard-Westlake. Newby was a finalist for the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football Award.
Beck and Fisher heavily recruited Newby in the spring — well before any of those accolades — and Fisher, the Nebraska wide receivers coach who recruits California, convinced Newby not to commit to Cal before an official visit to Lincoln. Newby made that visit for the Huskers' romp over Idaho State.
“He held my hand throughout the entire process,” Newby said of Fisher.
Brown, meanwhile, sold Newby on the chance to play early. Burkhead, Abdullah, Green, Braylon Heard, Imani Cross and Andy Janovich all played as true freshmen. Newby played in a spread offense at Chaminade and said he's comfortable getting the ball in open space.
“Obviously they're not going to put Ameer on the sidelines,” Newby said of Abdullah, who led the Huskers in rushing last year. “But one of the reasons I'm coming to Nebraska is because I'll get the opportunity to make an impact.”
Newby isn't the only 2,000-yard rusher to commit to Nebraska for this cycle. Katy (Texas) star Adam Taylor ran for 2,754 yards and 45 touchdowns this year. Taylor is the No. 183 player in the nation according to Scout.
“That's outrageous, two guys of our caliber coming in,” Newby said. “We can be pretty dangerous.”
Should their commits stick — both are expected to — Newby and Taylor would join a young, accomplished backfield of Abdullah, Heard and Cross. The trio ran for 1,809 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.
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