3-Star LB Rodney Groce Decommits from Nebraska
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

5 Thoughts on the Commitment of 3-star LB Rodney Groce

October 04, 2019

On Friday, 3-star linebacker (HV Rating: 88.0) inside linebacker Rodney Groce‍ committed to Nebraska. The Alabama native became the 12th known member of the Huskers’ 2020 recruiting class. He chose Nebraska over Mississippi State and Georgia Tech among others. Groce also became the first inside linebacker to join the class. 

Here are five quick thoughts on the commitment. 

Playing Style Fit

Groce is a very good fit for Nebraska’s defense in the Big Ten. He is relatively new to playing inside linebacker. He was primarily an outside linebacker before this year but he gained a lot of size. He’s a good tackler and plays well with his hands which allows him to shed blocks. I like his potential as a run stuffing inside linebacker for Barrett Ruud.

Linebackers Still Needed

Adding an inside linebacker in Groce to outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson is a good start for Nebraska’s linebacker group this cycle. There are still key targets that Nebraska is in the mix for. Outside linebacker Kaden Johnson, inside linebacker McCullough, linebacker Choe Bryant-Strother and outside linebacker Jared Ivey would be major coup as the group for 2020. Of course, Jackson Bratton is a “take” no matter what.

More Work Down South

There is starting to be a nice Southern flavor in the 2020 recruiting class for the Huskers. Six players of the 12 in the class are from the South:

  • Henry Gray (Florida)
  • Will Nixon (Texas)
  • Logan Smothers (Alabama)
  • Tamon Lynum (Florida)
  • Marvin Scott III (Florida)
  • Rodney Groce (Alabama)

There has been a concerted effort to recruit the South by Coach Scott Frost and his staff. Things are going well for the 2020 cycle and they are in the hunt for even more targets. 

Assist from Sean Beckton

Sean Beckton continues to do quiet work behind the scenes. There are very few targets in the South that he isn’t very involved with. His connections in that region, plus his ability to connect with recruits and their families, is a winning formula for the Huskers. Don’t overlook his influence on Nebraska’s recruiting efforts.

Persistence Pays Off

Something interesting happened with Groce’s recruitment that I didn’t even notice until multiple fans pointed it out. The Huskers did not make his top eight. This isn’t the first time something like that has happened though. Nebraska didn’t make Caleb Tannor’s top five during his recruitment, yet he committed and loves it at Nebraska. It goes to show the persistence of this staff on the recruiting trail.

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