LINCOLN — As of last week, schools like Texas-San Antonio and Texas State weren't ready to offer a scholarship to Pflugerville, Texas, cornerback Trai Mosley.
So even though he'd run a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at Nebraska's football camp and impressed occasionally hard-to-please defensive backs coach Terry Joseph, Mosley couldn't quite believe the words coming out of Joseph's mouth Friday afternoon while the two watched film.
A full-ride scholarship. Mosley's first. Where smaller schools had been skeptics, the Huskers were ready to sign up.
“I was like, 'Dang, did that just happen?'” Mosley said Sunday. “It didn't really hit me until later on Friday night.”
Once it did, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Mosley accepted Nebraska's offer. The two-star prospect, according to Rivals and 247Sports, moved from off the radar to squarely on it. Right after Mosley called Joseph, SMU — knowing only that Mosley had a Husker offer — called Mosley and offered him on the spot. Texas State did the same.
Mosley said he wouldn't be surprised if Baylor and Houston soon follow suit. They'll be too late, Mosley said, because of Joseph, who evaluated Mosley in the spring and “has always been straight up with me.
“You go to some camps and they tell you things to get you there and you don't get an offer,” said Mosley, who plays for Hendrickson High School. “Coach Joseph's been real down to earth.”
Nebraska homework will be rewarded, Hendrickson coach Chip Killian said, with a player who packs a big punch for his short frame.
“He's a got a 300-pound bench press,” Killian said. “He's extremely strong. Long arms. Best feet of any corner I've coached in a long time. And he'll hit you in the mouth.”
It was that tackling ability — plus a comfort with both man-to-man and zone coverage styles — that caught Joseph's eye, Mosley said. Joseph told Mosley he played like junior NU corner Josh Mitchell, the 5-11, 160-pounder who started eight games last season.
“I know I like to hit,” Mosley said. “I'm not scared of anybody.”
So why the hesitation of other schools? Killian figured most teams saw a height and weight on a recruiting profile and passed.
“When you look at a sheet of paper, and he's just another corner,” Killian said.
Because Hendrickson has several other college prospects — including four-star running back and Oklahoma commit Samaje Perine — coaches would see Mosley on film and immediately ask who he was.
But Nebraska sent Joseph and linebackers coach Ross Els at different times to get a bead on just how much potential Mosley had. NU extended a camp invite, Mosley arrived, tested well and became a commit at a much-needed spot for the Huskers, who lose corners Ciante Evans, Andrew Green, Mo Seisay and Stanley Jean-Baptiste to graduation after this season.
Mosley joins Jason Hall as a defensive back commit for the 2014 class. Like Mosley, Hall was a lightly-recruited corner in Texas before NU got his commitment. Now Hall has Texas and Oklahoma offers, too.
Killian expects Mosley will get plenty of attention now, especially from in-state schools that want to pitch the “stay home” angle.
“But they've already seen him twice,” Killian said. “Nebraska knew what they saw was a good player.”
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