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Woodbury's Alston commits to Nebraska

David Alston tackles a White Bear Lake ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage during a Friday, Oct. 6, game at Woodbury High School. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia

With dozens of scholarship offers on the table, Woodbury senior defensive end David Alston had the luxury to be selective about where he would play football after high school.

In the end, he chose a Big Ten university with a rich football tradition. Alston announced his decision on Twitter Friday morning, Oct. 6, to play football at the University of Nebraska once he graduates this spring.

Alston had received offers from at least 18 Division 1 schools going into his senior year of football. He made an official visit to the Lincoln-based campus in September with his mother and father, and after taking a few weeks to decide, he made the announcement.

"I just wanted to discuss with my family and make sure it was the right decision," Alston said. "It was the first time my mom had been on campus, so we just wanted to take all the right time and make sure it was a well-thought out process."

Nebraska has five national championships in program history, including three in the 1990s. Previously playing in the Big 12, Nebraska moved to the Big Ten beginning in 2011.

Alston said academics and football tradition played a significant role in his decision to make his commitment to Nebraska.

"There were some (other) schools in the running," Alston said. "And when it came down to it, I just decided Nebraska because, like I said, it was the best football fit and mix of academics. Just the atmosphere there, you can't replicate it."

Alston is a defensive end with the Royals. But once he reaches campus, the plan is for him to make a position switch to linebacker.

"Most of the time I'll be a standup outside linebacker, but there will be times, kind of like our defense, where I'll be with my hand in the ground," Alston said.

Head coach Andy Hill said the commitment was a reward for the hard work Alston has put in both in the classroom and in football. Nebraska made an early scholarship offer compared to many other schools, and Hill recalled a positive experience with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco when he visited Woodbury and talked football with Alston for an hour-and-a-half.

"I'm elated for David," Hill said. "He's such a good kid all-around on the field, off the field, classroom, community. He deserves something like that. He's worked hard for it."