Published Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:44 pm
FOOTBALL
Lineman, athlete commit to Husker scholarships

LINCOLN — Matt Finnin's phone seemed like it was always ringing or buzzing, and the junior college offensive tackle couldn't stand it.

That's why he almost picked a school last month just to end his hectic and stressful recruiting saga.

“It's frustrating at times,” Finnin said. “I had reporters and coaches calling me. I was sick and tired of the process.”

Good thing for Nebraska that the 6-foot-8, 330-pound prospect talked himself out of it. Finnin is glad he took his time, too.

He became the 22nd member of Nebraska's 2013 recruiting class — the third offensive lineman — when he announced his oral commitment to the Huskers on Sunday.

A few hours later, Baldwin, La., product Trevell Dixon switched back to NU after reneging on his commitment last summer.

Dixon, a versatile 6-foot, 180-pounder being recruited as an athlete, was originally the first 2013 prospect to make a nonbinding pledge to Nebraska. That was a year ago. But he had ties to ex-Husker coach Corey Raymond, who left the NU program during the spring. By the summer, Dixon had reopened his recruitment.

He's back with Nebraska now, though. He played quarterback for West St. Mary High School, and is expected to begin his collegiate career at receiver. Defensive back could be an option as well.

Two recruiting services — Rivals.com and ESPN — rated Dixon as a four-star athlete (out of five). Scout.com and 247 Sports both have him as a three-star recruit.

Dixon was unable to be reached for comment Sunday night.

Dixon's bond with Nebraska assistant Terry Joseph, who replaced Raymond and also is from Louisiana, is presumably one of the key reasons why he was lured back to NU.

Relationships were important to Finnin, too.

He toured Lincoln this weekend. Watched film with the coaches. Met the players. He seemed to click with everybody.

“That's part of the reason I committed there,” Finnin said.

Another reason?

Playing time.

He initially signed with Western Michigan in 2010 before joining the College of DuPage (Ill.). He has two years of eligibility remaining, so he's eager to make an instant impact in Lincoln.

Finnin is well aware of the fact that the three players — Jeremiah Sirles, Andrew Rodriguez and Brent Qvale — who made up Nebraska's main rotation at offensive tackle last year will all be seniors in 2013. And their backups, Zach Sterup and Givens Price, are unproven.

The manner in which the NU staff divided snaps among three tackles during the 2012 season encouraged Finnin, too. He'll get a chance, he said.

“(The coaches) assured me that I would be coming in and challenging for a starting spot,” he said.

The four major recruiting services all rate Finnin as a three-star offensive tackle. He's No. 37 on Rivals.com's top 100 list of junior college prospects.

Oklahoma and Florida State were among the schools that offered Finnin a scholarship. He strongly considered Kansas.

And choosing wasn't easy. He almost rushed it. His parents gave him advice, but he had the final call.

“It was one of those decisions you've got to make yourself,” he said.

Nebraska was the best choice for him.

“I really like the place,” Finnin said.

Contact the writer:

402-473-9585, jon.nyatawa@owh.com, twitter.com/JonNyatawa

Contact the writer: Jon Nyatawa

jon.nyatawa@owh.com    |   402-473-9585    |  

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football and baseball, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008.

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