Husker pledges top Nebraska list

Updated: May 31, 2002, 12:39 PM ET
By By Tom Lemming, ESPN.com college football recruiting analyst | ESPN.com
DES MOINES, Iowa, April 22 -- After dodging a tornado in Iowa, I drove to Omaha and on to Columbus, Neb., to see the state's top prospect, TE/ATH Josh Mueller (6-6, 240) of Lakeview H.S., who will likely rank in my top 100. He's a really good athlete and one of the top TEs I've seen in the nation so far in terms of size and speed. He has committed to Nebraska and would have been offered by several other schools, but like so many other in-state prospects, especially ones in small towns, he was born to play for the Cornhuskers. He probably won't be ranked as high by other recruiting experts because he pledged so early, but he's a legit All-American candidate.

Overall it's a weak year in Nebraska. Among the most talented players in the state is LB Bo Ruud (6-3, 220, 4.6) of Lincoln's Southeast H.S., whose father, Tom; two uncles; and great-grandfather played for the Huskers and whose brother, Barrett, is currently a sophomore MLB with the team. Not surprisingly, Bo has committed to Nebraska. He's the second-best player in the state and has great quickness to the ball at LB, while playing TB on offense.

Others to watch: QB Nick Bahe (6-3, 180) of Southeast, who will likely draw interest from a lot of schools; WR Andy Birkel (6-3, 170), who's transferring to Southeast this fall and has run a 10.6 100 meters; OL Jake Gable (6-3, 285) and RB Dan Erickson (6-0, 175), both of Papillion's LaVista H.S.; WR/DB Chris LeFlore (6-1, 185) of Omaha's Central H.S.; and DB Xavier Omon (5-11, 185) of Beatrice.

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