Josh Banderas commits to Nebraska

For linebacker Josh Banderas (Lincoln, Neb./Southwest), it wasn’t a matter of if.

Only when.

Banderas has expressed his interest in Nebraska for quite some time, and on Thursday, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior made it official by verbally committing to the Cornhuskers. A Nebraska legacy, Banderas chose the Huskers over Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Tulsa.

“Ever since the fifth grade and my first midget football game, I imagined playing for the Big Red like my dad,” said Banderas, the son of former Nebraska tight end Tom Banderas, who played for the Huskers and was coached by Tom Osborne in the 1980s.

Banderas then added, “Dream come true.”

Recruited by offensive line coach Barney Cotton and linebackers coach Ross Els, Banderas is Nebraska’s third commitment of the 2013 class. He first received the Nebraska offer around mid-February. Banderas went to a Huskers practice on Monday and spoke with head coach Bo Pelini. Three days later, he chose to end his recruiting process.

Banderas finished his junior season at Southwest with 127 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions. In addition to his offers, he also had interest from Alabama, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Banderas, with the decision, became Nebraska first in-state commitment. He joins safety Marcus McWilson (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) and athlete Tre’vell Dixon (Baldwin, La./West Saint Mary) in the class.