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Justin McGriff formed a strong a connection with Scott Frost and his coaching staff.

So strong, in fact, that he decided to leave his home state of Florida and play college football more than 1,400 miles from home.

McGriff, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound receiver from Tampa, announced his verbal pledge to Nebraska on Twitter on Monday night. 

"Scott Frost and all the coaches, it's just a different feel," McGriff told the Journal Star on Monday night. "They made me feel like I was already home and that I'm not really leaving. They made me feel like I was already part of the family and I've never really received that before."

McGriff is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports and by Rivals. He is expecting to sign a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 20 and enroll early, beginning classes here for spring semester.

McGriff backed off a verbal pledge to UCF earlier Monday after wrapping up an official visit here over the weekend. 

"They started recruiting me last year, in the middle of my junior season," McGriff said, noting that running backs coach Ryan Held served as his primary recruiter. 

As a senior at Jefferson High, he caught 25 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. The Huskers don't currently have any wideouts with McGriff's kind of size, and he confirmed that the NU staff sees him as a wide receiver in college. 

McGriff said he hasn't been out of the Sunshine State often as he grew up, so his first impression upon arriving here for a visit in early December was a natural one. 

"Well when I first got up there it was cold," he said. "But Lincoln, I thought it was pretty fun and it was very interesting. Lincoln is basically wrapped around the football stadium." 

He couldn't have imagined that he would some day move to Nebraska, but when the Knights beat Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game on Dec. 2, McGriff started to wonder what was going to happen. 

"I kind of knew that Scott Frost was leaving, but I didn't know how many coaches were leaving because at that time, (tight ends coach Sean) Beckton was still there, (offensive coordinator Troy) Walters was still there," he said. "I didn't really know what was going on, but once I found out that all the coaches were leaving and I got the offer, I said, 'Well maybe I should visit Nebraska and see how everything is and see if I still get the same feel.'" 

He was hosted on his visit by Miami native and redshirt freshman defensive back Dicaprio Bootle and said he met several of the other prospects on campus visiting. 

"I got a pretty good feel," he said. "I had Dicaprio with me, a lot of the other guys with me and I felt like I was already part of the team." 

McGriff is the third verbal commitment in two days for Frost and company, joining four-star safety C.J. Smith and junior college wide receiver Jaron Woodyard, who each committed Sunday. 

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


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