<
>

Michael Rose believes in Nebraska

When you talk football, recruiting and the future with Nebraska commitment and Gridiron King Michael Rose (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst), you can't help but get excited for this linebacker prospect.

You're excited because he's excited. Rose, for one, is proud of his decision to continue his football career in Lincoln.

"I love the direction of the program at Nebraska," said Rose, the nation's No. 4 middle linebacker. "Coach [Bo] Pelini is a defensive-minded guy. Up there, it's tough-nosed and hard work. They have a great strength coach and I can't wait to put on that muscle. The ideals of old Nebraska football are back from their glory days in the 1990s. Even Coach [Tom] Osborne is still there as their AD.

"We all know where they have been and we all know where we want to get back to. And that's winning."

Rose is also excited about the conference move by the Cornhuskers, leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten.

"I love it," Rose said. "Before I would have had to play against a bunch of spread teams in the Big 12. That means I would be chasing around a bunch of small receivers. I would much rather battle a fullback in the Big Ten. That suits me much better."

If there's one recruit you want showcasing the Big Red Machine it's the 6-foot, 225-pound Rose. The kid is infectious. And like many prospects in today's era of college football recruiting, Rose wears a recruiting hat. His sports a capitol "N" right in the middle.

"I am all over the place," Rose said. "I am on Facebook, Twitter and on my cell phone. If you are within distance of me I will be at your house. I realize that this is a big decision for all of is. It's a tough spot and a decision that will alter the next 20 to 30 years of our lives. It's interesting because some guys listen and others turn you down."

As you can guess Rose's top targets are potential future Blackshirts for the Cornhuskers' defense.

"My top target is Jordan Diggs [safety from Ft. Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot]," Rose said. "We plan on going to Lincoln in a few weeks. Noah Spence [DE from Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt] is another and so are a bunch of guys across the nation. I give them an earful about the Blackshirts of Lincoln."

How did Rose begin to develop relationships with recruits from across the country?

"If you go hard for four years like I did and hit the camps, combines and schools you will see guys and build relationships," Rose said. "Facebook is the biggest recruiting tool in the history of recruiting and that's another way I have met guys. I ask them about how their season is going and their offseason and go from there."

When he's not recruiting for Nebraska, Rose is just working hard for the upcoming season. He and his high school teammates are trying to do something special.

"The summer has been hectic," Rose said. "I want to win another state championship. We are building a legacy at Rockhurst. I want another ring and to help get recruits to Nebraska."

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.