Late Saturday night, following the conclusion of the Illinois football team’s one-day under-the-lights camp at O’Fallon High School, Highland standout offensive lineman Tanner Farmer named his top four schools.
“I want to make my decision by the beginning of July,” said Farmer, who will be a senior this fall. “I can’t really say who the favorites are right now. I have I guess you could say a top four — Nebraska, Mizzou, Minnesota, U. of I.”
By Tuesday night, though, the 6-foot-4, 302-pounder, a state champion wrestler, had made up his mind and made a verbal commitment to the University of Nebraska.
“Nebraska is an outstanding school,” he said in a phone interview. “It's got great facilities. The coaches are great. Everything there is top notch.”
Farmer, who projects as either a guard or center in college, didn’t want to wait any longer to make a commitment to the Cornhuskers.
“I just felt like Nebraska was the place that I was supposed to be,” he said. “I felt like I was at home there. I couldn’t find myself being anywhere else.”
Farmer’s ascension among recruits has been swift.
The Highland standout, who went 39-0 and won the Illinois Class 2A wrestling championship at 285 pounds this winter, was a relatively unknown football prospect when he went to the Rivals.com Camp in late April at O’Fallon High School.
But after Farmer performed well at the camp, being selected the offensive line most valuable player at the event, scholarship offers started pouring in.
“It was really a big surprise,” he said. “I got offers from places that I never even thought about or I never even thought would think about me. Like Mizzou. I never thought about going to Mizzou, and one day they just showed up at my school.”
On Saturday night Farmer reported eight offers: “Mizzou, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, McKendree and Illinois State.”
The Bulldogs’ bulldog showed on Saturday what makes him such an outstanding prospect as an interior lineman. He fared well in one-on-one blocking against other prospects being courted by Division I schools.
“I’ve been working hard,” Farmer said. “I work out pretty much every day, and I’m always trying to improve. I do footwork every day. I lift every day. I’m trying to get better. I want to be the best and I want to be the best that I can be.”