“The people there were amazing,” Marcus Newby (3) said of his visit to Nebraska. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Quince Orchard’s Marcus Newby, a rising senior, already had Nebraska at the top of his lengthy list of college suitors when he boarded a plane for the first time in his life two weeks ago for a recruiting trip to the Big 10 school.

After a few anxious moments on the takeoff and landing of his first flight, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker decided he enjoyed flying. By the end of the visit, he was all but sold on the Cornhuskers, too.

Newby committed on Monday, picking Nebraska over Penn State. He called Cornhuskers defensive coordinator John Papuchis, a Quince Orchard grad, with the news and informed his teammates of the decision at a morning workout.

“The people there were amazing,” said Newby, who also visited Oklahoma on the trip. “They’re all like family. They take you in right away like they’re your own brothers and sisters.”

Newby’s stock continued to rise this fall as he helped the Cougars to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Maryland 4A final where they fell to Old Mill in overtime. The second-team All-Met accumulated a dozen scholarship offers, and he said Maryland, Rutgers, West Virginia and Oklahoma were also in the mix until late in the process.

Newby added that his familiarity with Papuchis and Jason Ankrah, a 2009 Quince Orchard grad who started at defensive end as a sophomore for the Cornhuskers last season, helped make the decision easier.

“It’s relieving,” said Newby, who plans to visit the school again in the fall for a football game. “Now I can just focus on my senior year and getting back to the state championship [game] and winning it.”

Quince Orchard Coach Dave Mencarini called Newby’s choice a “non-football decision.” The 2011 All-Met Coach of the Year accompanied his standout linebacker on the trip and left impressed with Nebraska’s presentation.

Mencarini said the Cornhuskers plan to sign three linebackers for the class of 2013. They had already secured commitments from two others and continued to hold the final spot in hopes of adding Newby.

“I tell all my guys when they start the recruiting process, ‘Everybody wants you, and you’ve got to find somebody that needs you,’ ” Mencarini said. “They did a good job of showing him exactly how he’d fit into the scheme and what they’re doing as a program.”

i am proud to say im committed to the university of Nebraska!!! # GO BIG RED

— Marcus Newby (@MarcusNewby3) July 2, 2012

Marcus Newby becomes the 7th BCS QO player since ‘04 and the 2nd to commit to the Huskers joining Jason Ankrah an ‘09grad.

— Dave Mencarini (@QOCoach) July 2, 2012

Related: Marcus Newby 2011 football stats

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