Nebraska added a very intriguing pass rusher option for the class of 2020. New Mexico Military Institute defender Junior Aho committed to the Huskers on Tuesday. The 3-star (HV Rating: 81.5) defensive end/outside linebacker was an all-conference selection this season in JUCO despite not having played the sport for very long.
“I started [playing football] in 2015,” Aho said. “I had already been an athlete. I did a lot of sports. My mom really made me practice sports. I used to do martial arts and some soccer. I just grew with football in France. Some people talked about football. I was so excited because in France I tried it and liked what I saw. You have to be smart. You need to know your plays, be a good leader. That gave me the passion for football.”
Aho’s commitment came as a surprise because he had yet to visit Lincoln. Still, he told Hail Varsity what led to him making the choice to join the class.
“I feel it was the best fit for my abilities,” Aho explained. “My coach told me they wanted to give me a chance. They showed me the system and how they want to use me. I have big trust in them with their image of how they want to use me. They need me and they expressed that need. I feel like it’s a good thing. It’s a big program in the NCAA. They have the best fans in the nation. All those things make me want to play for them.”
In JUCO, Aho is used to playing in an odd man front on defense. He recorded 37 tackles, eight for loss, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown this season. He shows in his film that he can get pressure on the quarterback. That’s what Nebraska is banking on getting from him. The Huskers are looking for him to play a hybrid outside linebacker type of role.
The French defender has been in contact with a lot of people at Nebraska. JUCO recruiting coordinator Ryan Held, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt speak with him often. He also hears from Director of Player Personnel Sean Dillon and Scott Frost, too. Aho appreciates the time they’ve spent building the relationship and the letters sent by the staff.
The plan is for Aho, who will graduated in May, to visit Lincoln in January. He has four years to play three at Nebraska. He can’t wait to get started as a Husker to work on his big goals.
“I’m excited to dominate and be in the place with everyone who loves football,” Aho said. “I excited to be part of that. I want to give my best to the team to be successful and also reach my goals. I have high expectations. I want to make the league. I want to be a big player there in Nebraska. I feel like they can give me what they need in their defense to help me be successful.
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.