LINCOLN — Terrell Clinkscales said Sunday night he never lost his scholarship offer to Nebraska because of academic struggles. Nor did he lose his affinity for NU's program.
But one of the nation's top junior college defensive tackles still made a switch Sunday afternoon when he announced on Twitter he'd flipped, just weeks before signing day, from the Huskers to Kansas State.
“Kansas State kept recruiting me,” the 6-foot-4, 315-pounder out of Dodge City (Kan.) Community College said in a phone interview with The World-Herald. “They stuck with me and seem to really want me. Do I love Nebraska? Yes. Do I love Kansas State? Yes. I said that before I even came on my recruiting trip.”
A four-star recruit who was rated the No. 1 junior college tackle by 247Sports, Clinkscales committed to NU two days after he officially visited for the Huskers' 38-17 loss to Iowa in late November. He touted coach Bo Pelini's fire and passion. He said he looked forward to teaming up with NU tackle Vincent Valentine. A Chicago native, he said he looked forward to competing in the Big Ten.
During the next two months, Clinkscales said, KSU didn't stop pursuing him. Though he kept in contact with NU defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski — he said he talked to Kaczenski last week — he didn't notify any NU coaches of his decommitment before the switch. He texted a few recruiting analysts for Rivals and 247Sports and declared on Twitter.
“I'll talk to them,” Clinkscales said of chatting with Nebraska coaches.
Clinkscales also spent time Sunday on Twitter arguing with those who suggested he wouldn't academically qualify for Kansas State. Clinkscales said he expects to graduate and qualify for a four-year college. In a Jan. 7 story on HuskerOnline — a Nebraska recruiting website — Clinkscales said he was taking 18 credit hours and two online classes. Sunday, Clinkscales said he was taking 21 credit hours this semester and would need to take an English class this summer. He said he failed a computer science class last semester and had two incomplete grades.
Because of NCAA rules, Nebraska coaches can't comment on prospects — athletic, academic or otherwise — before they sign.
NU now has one defensive tackle prospect — Hiawatha (Kan.) four-star Peyton Newell — committed for the 2014 class. But the Huskers lost one interior tackle — Thad Randle — off the 2013 team. They return juniors Kevin Williams and Aaron Curry and sophomores Valentine, Maliek Collins and Kevin Maurice to compete for playing time next season.
The Huskers' class is down to 18 pledges.