football

Qualls lands major Big Ten offer

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When Elijah Qualls gave his coach, Trent Herzog, a list of about 15 schools to contact early on in his recruitment to gauge interest Nebraska was on the list and so Herzog reached out.
The Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande coach had not heard back from Nebraska until Wednesday when he talked with running backs coach Ron Brown and the Huskers were ready to offer.
"On his original list of 15 he asked me to contact them and they were one of the three or four schools that never got back to me," Herzog said. "I don't know if I called the right coach or what. I told them his film is on the Internet and if there are any questions give me a call back and I never got a call.
"This morning coach Brown, the running backs coach, called me and left me a message. I got back to him 30 minutes later and he was really fired up. They just watched his film and they didn't know too much about him. They looked at his film and coach (Bo) Pelini wanted to offer him."
Qualls is a 6-foot-2, 280-pound prospect who's being recruited at running back, fullback and defensive tackle by a variety of programs across the country.
So far, he has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Colorado, Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
Herzog said Nebraska's coaches like him on offense and defense and definitely are intrigued by his athleticism especially with how much he weighs.
"(Brown) said Elijah is a really unique athlete and you don't see the kind of kid that size who can move like that," Herzog said.
"He asked, 'How big is he?' I said, 'He's 280.' He said, 'He's 280? Can he still move?' I said, 'He was 265 in that film and he transferred his weight really well.' The coach said, 'Maybe he'll be a defensive tackle but I want him as a fullback.'"
Qualls, rated as the No. 25 athlete in the 2013 class by Rivals.com with a good chance to move up in the next round of rankings, talked with Pelini and landed his latest offer.
Some Pac-12 schools might be considered favorites at this point but Herzog said his star athlete will definitely consider the Nebraska offer moving forward.
"It's a big offer," Qualls said.
"He's excited an offer from such a prestigious program with the history of Nebraska came through. I think we all grew up watching Nebraska play. Not that they're all of a sudden in his favorites but he's definitely going to consider what they have to offer in academics and in athletics. It's just as big an offer as any one he has. It's going to make it tougher on him."
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