Nebraska tendered a handful of new scholarship offers on Saturday. One of the players that picked up an offer from the Huskers was 2020 OLB Blaise Gunnerson from Kuemper Catholic in Carroll, Iowa.
— Blaise Gunnerson (@b_gunnerson) October 21, 2018
I caught up with Gunnerson on Sunday morning to get his thoughts on the fans in Lincoln, his relationship with defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and the Huskers trying to make noise in the state of Iowa.
Here is the full Q&A of our interview.
What were your overall thoughts on the visit?
"I thought it was a really good visit. [Nebraska defensive coordinator Eric] Chinander did a really good job of making me feel welcome. The food was phenomenal. It was pretty fun. They had a lot of games out. Then I walked on to the field and I was pretty wowed by the feel of Memorial Stadium. It was pretty crazy. I've never seen a stadium that big."
What were your thoughts when you picked up the offer?
"Chinander told me to stay after the game at the meal afterwards, so we ate and then [director of player personnel] Sean Dillon told me to go talk to Chinander because he had something to tell me. I went over to talk to him for a bit and he basically said they were going to offer me and that he really wants to get all of the Iowa kids over here because that's what made Nebraska successful in the past. That's what they're really trying to do. I talked to him a lot about his family and met his parents. It was really cool."
What do you think about Nebraska putting that emphasis on Iowa?
"I think it obviously makes sense, just trying to get everyone in from as big a radius as you can would help the program a lot. And him being from Iowa and having a bunch of relationships in that state helps a lot with his recruiting successes."
Who came with you on the trip?
"It was my coach, Ryan Steinkamp. He's my strength coach and helps me a lot with all of that stuff. And then Cole Collison, my friend.
What were there impressions from the visit?
"They thought it was really cool, too."
At this point is Nebraska looking at you more as a linebacker or defensive end?
"They said they're going to look at me a lot as an outside linebacker because of my body type and then because I can get off line pretty quick. It kind of just depends on how my body works. [Chinander] asked me how I see myself as a guy who's going to be standing up in that 3-4, or if I'm going to be down and I told him I can probably do either/or depending on how my body develops."
So you don't have a preference?
"I would prefer to be standing up, honestly, because I think I'm a pretty good pass rusher."
At this point what other schools have you been in contact with?
"I have offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska. And then I've been in contact a lot with Notre Dame and Michigan State. I'm heading there for visits pretty soon. That's basically it for now. A little bit with Indiana, too."
How's your high school season going so far?
"Well, I am injured. I hurt myself during track season last year. I didn't find out I was injure until about a week before football practices started. I had to get surgery on my right hip because I tore my labrum, so I've been recovering from that. I'm just starting to do leg workouts again, so that's feeling really good. I should be fully recovered in about one to two months. But the team that I'm on is doing really good. Just won the district actually."
What would you say are the biggest things you're looking for in a school?
"The No. 1 priority for me is the people there, how I interact with them and how I relate to them. That's who I'm going to be with every day. Then obviously comes the football program, where I think there future will lead and how committed is the fan base, how committed are the coaches? Thirdly, I would say, is obviously the head coach. That comes before probably all of them. The head coach is who I want to play for every day and I think Frost has got something great going on at Nebraska and he's going to have a bright future there for sure."
I was just going to ask you what you thought about Frost and the future of the program.
"They're definitely in a positively trending position. He obviously did great things at UCF, he brought all his staff over here and he just got his first win, I know, but he's going to keep bringing in dudes for the next recruiting class and those are going to be his dudes and he's going to be successful with them."
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.