CHICAGO — The saga of the recruitment of Elijah Blades took a few twists and turns throughout the process. Blades, a 4-star cornerback from Muir, California, was a long-time Florida commit until late in his recruitment when Nebraska hired Donte Williams.
Things really heated up between Nebraska and Blades, which ultimately led to Blades flipping his commitment from Florida to Nebraska and making an official announcement on National Signing Day. From there, things went pretty quiet with some whispers about Blades having work to do in the classroom to become fully eligible to enroll at Nebraska.
On July 17, I reported that Blades would not be enrolling at Nebraska and instead would be going to Arizona Western Community College after not qualifying. The subject came up in Chicago at Big Ten Media Days and Mike Riley was asked if Elijah could have come to Nebraska as an academic redshirt or partial qualifier.
“No. He could not,” Riley said. “I don’t really know what was said or anything like that but it was a very similar situation, the exact situation to [Deiontae] Watts.”
Riley was also asked about a report of Nebraska not “placing” Blades by helping him find a junior college.
“First of all I don’t think of ‘placing’ a guy, I think of advising them and they have to make that decision themselves,” he said. “I never get into that business of this is where we want you to go and I think that’s going to be, for them, another personal decision that’s going to be very important to them. We can give advice, we do have some thoughts, but that’s as far as we go with it.”
This will likely put a bow on the saga that has been the Elijah Blades recruitment at Nebraska. I’ve been told by multiple sources to not expect to ever hear Blades and Nebraska linked again once he completes his time in junior college, so it seems that all parties have moved on.
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.