Transfer portal delivers again as Nebraska picks up commitment from ex-Texas Tech defender | Football



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Steven M. Sipple, Parker Gabriel and Chris Basnett break down impending decisions from Nebraska football transfer portal targets, plus hoops and Baylor Scheierman.

Nebraska encountered serious attrition in its defensive line in the wake of the 2021 season.

As a result, the Huskers are counting on the transfer portal for immediate help.

On Tuesday, the portal delivered again.

Three days after Nebraska landed former TCU defensive end Ochaun Mathis, former Texas Tech defensive lineman Devin Drew announced he will play for the Huskers in 2022.


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Drew recently took an official visit to Nebraska’s campus and also strongly considered playing for Illinois. 

A native of Raytown, Missouri, Drew made 34 tackles in 13 games this past fall and had 55 stops in all in two seasons at Texas Tech.

Before joining the Red Raiders, Drew spent two seasons, 2018 and 2019, at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

Count Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier as a believer in the 6-foot-3, 280-pound Drew. 

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In many ways, Drew beat the odds to reach his current status, Strohmeier said.

“Devin came in here as a walk-on middle linebacker,” the coach said. “That’s where he played in high school.” 

However, when Iowa Western began preseason camp in 2018, Drew was moved to defensive end. He was buried on the depth chart behind six other defensive ends, Strohmeier said. 

But Drew wasn’t buried for long. 

“I remember coming into staff meetings after practice and the coaches kept talking about him,” Strohmeier said. “I was thinking, ‘The dude is a walk-on MIKE linebacker. How good are we going to be if he’s climbing the defensive end board so quickly?’ 

“He just climbed and climbed and climbed.”

Eventually, of course, Iowa Western coaches had to make final roster decisions. At that point, Strohmeier said, Drew clearly rose to the level of starter. 

Then, he produced at a high level in that role, appearing in 22 games over two seasons for Iowa Western, which won 19 games in that span. 

“He’s a technician,” Strohmeier said. “He’s quiet and just works his tail off. He’ll do anything you ask him to do.” 

In two seasons at Iowa Western, Drew racked up 97 tackles, including 14.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. He also forced five fumbles. 

“He doesn’t complain; he just works,” Strohmeier said. “He just kept working and kept working. We had some talented kids that year (2018), guys who were more high profile than him coming out of high school. But he just kept climbing and climbing and climbing.


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“He takes coaching extremely well. Once you tell him something, he’s just going to do it. I have to credit our defensive line coaches, Aaron Terry and Dave Tolleson. They just drilled him every single day. They kept coming back and saying, ‘Everything we tell this kid, he does.’ If he isn’t perfect with it, he’s going to work on it.

“For two years, he did what he was supposed to do and made plays when he was supposed to make the plays.”

Some power conference schools might have shied away from a full-court recruitment of Drew because he stands 6-foot-3 instead of 6-4 or taller. He’s listed at 290 now after arriving at Iowa Western in the 240-pound range. The Reivers’ coaching staff, though, all the while projected him as a lineman. 

Granted, Strohmeier said, Drew isn’t necessarily as physically gifted as former Iowa Western (and Oklahoma) standout Perrion Winfrey, who was drafted in the fourth round Saturday by the Cleveland Browns. 

“But Devin’s going to help you win games,” Strohmeier said. “He does everything right. He does his assignment; he’s not going to blow it. And when he has to make plays, he’ll be there to make them. The kid just wants to help you win.” 

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