Wilbon talks Nebraska pledge

In the weeks since de-committing from Vanderbilt, four-star Chicago running back Mikale Wilbon considered several schools for visits, but he only took one.

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A week after finishing his official visit with Nebraska, Wilbon officially announced he was a Cornhusker.
"After my official visit to Nebraska, I just wanted to re-evaluate everything," Wilbon said. "I was thinking about going to other visits, but I just came to a conclusion that I didn't know if I wanted to visit other schools if I really liked Nebraska.
"The only reason I waited until today is because my mom and dad didn't go to the official visit with me. I wanted Coach Bo [Pelini] to come to my house and meet my parents and my family. I committed there when everybody was in the room."
Pelini's in-home visit took place Sunday evening. Besides his parents, Wilbon's siblings as well as Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown were also in that meeting.
"When he first came in, because my mom and dad didn't go on the official visit, he basically explained what was his mission and what his plan was for me and the whole football team," Wilbon said. "He was telling them general information about academics and athletics. He was recapping everything and what they all missed, even though they'll see it at the spring game."
After Pelini discussed the opportunities and philosophy at Nebraska, Wilbon informed the Cornhusker's head man he was committing to the program.
"It was exciting," Wilbon said. "My mom jumped up, my dad jumped up. Coach Brown, he was on the side of me, he jumped up and gave me a big hug and I went over and Coach Bo gave me a big hug too. We were all taking pictures and it was an exciting moment."
Nebraska had shown interest in Wilbon last spring before he made the commitment to Vanderbilt, then they were the first team in with an offer hours after he de-committed from the Commodores earlier this month. What he has learned about the program from his official visit and research in the days since sold him on the program.
"The coaches have so much faith in me and they have a plan for me. I just really like the opportunity," Wilbon said. "Ameer Abdullah, he is there now and this is his last year. After that there is an open spot. Coach Brown was just letting me know he's making no promises, I need to grind hard to get that spot.
"Then, the players there really stuck out. They were basically being real with me. They weren't trying to persuade me to go to their school, they were just telling me to do what's best for me and make the right decision. I really respect the players for that."
The 5-foot-8, 191-pound Wilbon is coming off a partial tear of a knee ligament that caused him to miss the last four games of his high school career. He is still rehabilitating the knee, but expects to be back to full health soon.
"Right now I am still grinding to get back healthy. On my official visit, when I was talking to the athletic trainers, they were just telling me to keep rehabbing and keep working hard. When I get there, they have good facilities, so I already know I am going to be in good hands."
In Wilbon, Nebraska is getting the nation's No. 168 overall prospect, the No. 16 running back prospect and the No. 9 player in what is a deep state of Illinois 2014 class.
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