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How a Super Bowl champion’s offseason hobby led new University of Nebraska recruit to volleyball

<i>Francis Gardler/Lincoln Journal Star</i><br/>High school volleyball player Caroline Jurevicius lifts a shot during Nebraska's Dream Team volleyball camp. Jurevicius committed to Nebraska.
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Francis Gardler/Lincoln Journal Star
High school volleyball player Caroline Jurevicius lifts a shot during Nebraska's Dream Team volleyball camp. Jurevicius committed to Nebraska.

By Brent C. Wagner

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    LINCOLN, Nebraska (Lincoln Journal Star) — The Nebraska volleyball program is on a recruiting hot streak.

For the third time in just two days, a high school volleyball player has announced their plans to play for Nebraska.

On Friday, it was Caroline Jurevicius, who is the No. 6-ranked national recruit among the class of high school juniors, according to

The 6-foot-2 right-side hitter is from Gates Mills, Ohio. She plays in high school for Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in Chadron, Ohio.

Jurevicius’ dad is Joe Jurevicius, a retired NFL wide receiver who was a Super Bowl champion with Tampa Bay during the 2002 season. He played in college at Penn State.

Jurevicius’ commitment follows those by Sioux Falls, South Dakota, setter Bergen Reilly and Denver area middle blocker Andi Jackson, who each announced their verbal pledges Wednesday.

All three commitments came within four days of the players attending Nebraska’s Dream Team camp last weekend.

At some point, Nebraska’s scholarship spots for the 2023 recruiting class will fill up, but Jurevicius said that wasn’t why she committed when she did.

“It just felt right in my gut,” Jurevicius said.

She had a conference call with the Nebraska coaches Wednesday morning, and then a phone call with coach John Cook on Thursday. Just four hours later — at about 10 p.m. on Thursday — she committed.

Jurevicius could sense how exciting the past few days have been for the Husker coaches, with commitments on Monday (Reilly), Wednesday (Jackson) and Thursday (Jurevicius).

“I think they were really stoked about it,” she said. “They’re all about building and winning.”

Three of the six known 2023 recruits who attended the camp have already committed to the Huskers.

Jurevicius was also considering Stanford, Texas, Wisconsin and Penn State. But a busy schedule with high school, club and USA volleyball meant that Nebraska was the only school Jurevicius camped at this summer.

The Cleveland-area native liked the idea of playing for a school in the Big Ten Conference, like her dad did.

“I think there is something about the Big Ten work ethic, and the blue-collar aspect of it, and I’m really attracted to that,” she said. “I really love an environment that will get down and work hard and keep pushing. I want to be a part of that so badly.”

Surprisingly, Jurevicius’ dad had a background in volleyball. During the NFL offseason he played competitive beach volleyball in a partners league on the beaches of Lake Erie.

“He was pretty intense about it,” Jurevicius said.

Jurevicius started playing when she was 12 years old.

“I got into volleyball through my dad,” she said. “I tried a bunch of sports when I was younger, and none really seemed to click, and then my dad took me to an open gym one time at a local club and I’ve just fallen in love with it ever since.”

The family has also spent time in Nebraska. Joe Jurevicius was once part of a hunting ranch business in Mullen, with his former teammate John Howell. Joe Jurevicius still travels there a few times each year, and Caroline Jurevicius visited when she was young.

On Saturday Jurevicius starts a weeklong tryout in California to try and make the junior national team roster for the FIVB U18 World Championship this fall in Mexico. The other players at that tryout include Bekka Allick (Nebraska commit from Waverly) and Reilly.

This was actually the second time that Jurevicous attended Nebraska’s Dream Team camp. The first time she came was before her freshman year when she got a surprise invitation.

“It just happened,” Jurevicius said. “One day I woke up and I’m like, ‘Oh, my, gosh, Nebraska wants me to come to a camp.’ And I think ever since then I’ve just been enamored by the idea of it.”

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