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Nebraska Recruiting: Recapping a Busy Week for the Huskers
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

ESD Greg’s Guys: No. 5 Linebacker Mikai Gbayor

December 16, 2020

On Wednesday, 3-star linebacker Mikai Gbayor signed his letter of intent to become a Husker. He is No. 5 in my Early Signing Day edition of Greg’s Guys.

The New Jersey native (6-2, 220) is heading to Nebraska to play inside linebacker but he does have position flexibility. Gbayor built a solid relationship throughout the recruiting process with Nebraska’s staff. His lead recruiter was outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson. Both Dawson and inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud told him the history of New Jersey players coming to Lincoln is strong.

“Ruud told me that the Jersey connection is strong there at Nebraska,” Gbayor said. “He played there and there are plenty of linebackers that came out of Nebraska. Guys like Lavonte David. He showed me those guys. Our relationship is great. He calls me just to check up. Me and Coach Ruud’s relationship is great.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the NCAA mandated a dead period back in March. Prospects from the 2021 class were not able to take any official visits to their future schools. Yet, Gbayor was able to take a trip on his own to Lincoln so he could see the campus. The defender picked the Huskers over the other schools in his top five that included Michigan State, Ole Miss, Kentucky and West Virginia.

There are a number of ways in which the Huskers can use Gbayor’s skills on the field. I spoke with Gbayor’s coach, Ashley Pierre, who has been working with him since the eighth grade. Pierre likes the plan that the team has for his star linebacker. The pressures that the Huskers like to bring suits Gbayor well since he moves so well laterally. The intangibles stick out most from Pierre’s conversations with Nebraska’s staff.

“I think the character and toughness he brings to the overall room is what we speak about most,” Pierre said. “They see him as a future captain. They see him as a kid who can be an All-American if he does the right things. He has all of those qualities and traits. He just needs to continue down his path and continue to be a leader and then great things can continue to happen for him.”

We’ll see how things work out for the New Jersey native on the field. It would be wise not to bet against him given how many things he can do on the field and how hard he works.

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