NU earns pledge from cornerback Joseph; Five-star Willis picks UCLA


LINCOLN — Two defensive backs for the 2013 recruiting class who took official visits to Nebraska made their final decisions Wednesday. And both have roughly the same 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. Both will see Memorial Stadium next year. Only one will play for the Huskers.

The five-star prospect, Priest Willis, chose UCLA over NU, Arizona State and LSU.

The three-star prospect, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cypress Bay corner Boaz Joseph, picked the Huskers over Louisville and Kentucky.

And to hear Joseph's coach, Mark Guandolo, pitch his player, Nebraska may have plucked a prospect who makes a considerable splash.

“The kid's a specimen,” Guandolo said. “There's not a lot of corners his size. He can press you, and then he can run with you.”

Joseph didn't respond to phone calls or texts from The World-Herald.

Nebraska's press-man coverage scheme, Guandolo said, is why Joseph — whose first name is pronounced “Bose” — warmed to an NU offer so quickly, and why he turned down an official visit to Louisville, whose head coach — former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong — had come into Joseph's recruiting process in the past two weeks.

Husker defensive backs coach Terry Joseph had nudged his way into Boaz Joseph's field of vision in December, joining Wisconsin, Purdue and Missouri, among others, as schools that had offered. Boaz Joseph took his official visit to Lincoln Jan. 18. Guandolo, whose Cypress Bay team finished 12-3, said his player had “a good connection” with the coaching staff and players.

“Nebraska fits him as a defensive back,” Guandolo said.

None of the major local schools — Florida, Florida State, Miami — offered Joseph, Guandolo said, because Joseph struggled academically at the beginning of his junior year. He later made it clear, Guandolo said, that he wanted to leave the state. Alabama came close to offering at one point, the coach said. Joseph has now academically qualified to play next year, Guandolo said.

Joseph didn't have an interception last year, Guandolo said, “because guys couldn't ever get off the line against him.” He was selected third-team all-state in Florida's largest classification of football. Cypress Bay went on a surprising run in the 8A playoffs, reaching the final game before losing to Apopka 53-50.

Nebraska now has five defensive back commits in the 2013 class. One — safety D.J. Singleton — has already enrolled. Another — Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney safety Marcus McWilson — told 247Sports he plans to visit Kentucky Jan. 25.

“I just want to explore my options,” McWilson said to 247Sports. “I don't want to go into a school thinking, 'What else is out there?' Nebraska is a great school. Great opportunities at both places. Get to be coached by great coaches.”

McWilson, a four-star prospect, told 247 that Nebraska coaches are not happy about his decision to visit UK, where former Husker graduate assistant Vince Marrow is now an assistant.

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