And so the boy named Freedom picked a interesting day to make his verbal commitment. It's a nice story and an easy joke. Still, the coaching staff at Nebraska probably doesn't care whether it took place on July 4, July 5 or Dec. 27.
The important thing to the Huskers is that they have their new tight end and the book on Grandview (Mo.) athlete Freedom Akinmoladun's recruitment is closed.
Akinmoladun's high school coach, Andy Leech, confirmed his star's verbal pledge on Thursday afternoon and said the situation is one Akinmoladun started talking about yesterday. It only took him 24 hours to pull the trigger.
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Leech also says Nebraska is getting more than a guy who looks good in a uniform.
"He's obviously 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and runs a 4.7 40-yard dash," Leech said of Akinmoladun. "He catches everything. But, on top of that, he's a 3.6-GPA kid who soaks up anything you tell him. He's one of the most coachable kids I've ever been around."
The course of action was finalized yesterday, but the idea of making things official with the Huskers had been kicking around Akinmoladun's head for days. The last week or so was simply a time for reflection. His decision was all but made up on the heels of his last visit to Lincoln. The waiting was a formality of sorts.
"They had the Big Red Weekend a couple weeks ago, and they really sold him on it then," Leech said.
Nebraska plans to use Akinmoladun at tight end. Leech doesn't believe that to be the optimal position for his two-way standout, but feels the Huskers have added an asset to their offense nonetheless. Sometimes, athletes are athletes. And Leech thinks that's the case here.
"They are playing him at tight end, but I think he's a better D-end," Leech said. "He's a tremendous tight end, too. We've been talking about where he wants to play in college for a long time now, and Freedom was cool with playing tight end, so he's going to be a tight end for them."