What was it that made Zach Hannon (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst) choose Nebraska on Wednesday afternoon? The tradition of the football program? The relationship built with the coaching staff? The chance to play in the Big Ten Conference? The revered academic reputation?
For the 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive lineman, it was all of the above and then some. Hannon also admitted that part of his decision may have even been subliminal.
Hannon, a three-star lineman projected to be a guard, said he has always had the Cornhuskers high on his recruiting list, but that was aided by his aunt and uncle who live outside of Lincoln, Neb. Denise and Brad Fridel live in Wahoo, Neb., a town of roughly 4,500 that is 30 minutes north of Lincoln that's also loaded with fans of the Cornhuskers.
“My aunt and uncle have lived in Wahoo for the past seven, eight years,” Hannon said. “They kind of unintentionally put Nebraska in my head for a long time now.”
Hannon added that his appreciation for the coaching staff helped him choose Nebraska over his other two favorites, Arkansas and Missouri. On his first visit, Hannon saw members of the coaching staff sacrifice their personal time in an effort to make his visit one to remember.
“The first time I visited [Nebraska], the strength and conditioning coach and the other coaches took off their vacations to tour me around,” Hannon said. “Coach [Bo] Pelini was watching his daughter’s soccer game in Omaha, which is quite a distance from Lincoln. I heard he left that game early just to meet with me. That meant a lot.”
Hannon said he gave himself a Wednesday deadline and added his commitment was “the toughest decision I’ve had to make thus far,” which speaks highly about how he felt about Arkansas and Missouri.
“I don’t even know how to describe it. It left me at a loss of words,” Hannon said. “It’s good to be recruited, and it’s a good problem to have. The toughest part is making that phone call and telling the other coaches you’re not going to go to their schools.”
Hannon became Nebraska’s 13th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class. He was recruited by offensive line coach John Garrison and is the first player from Missouri to choose the Huskers for this class. Hannon is ranked No. 9 among players in Missouri in his class.