By Lincoln Arneal
On Thursday, Campbell Flynn’s phone was blowing up with college coaches trying to reach her on the first day they could have recruiting conversations with her.
On Friday, her phone was buzzing for a different reason. Flynn, a 6-foot-2 setter, posted on social media that she was committing to Nebraska. Only a junior, she is the first commit in the 2025 class.
“Yesterday I was feeling a lot of stress,” Flynn said shortly after posting her announcement on Instagram. “But today, I’m feeling less stress and just really excited to be a part of the Husker family.”
Flynn, from Rochester Hills, Michigan, a suburb on the north side of Detroit, is the No. 5 overall prospect according to PrepDig and the top-ranked setter. PrepVolleyball.com lists her as No. 13 overall and the third-best setter.
Even before coaches could communicate with her starting June 15, Flynn said she narrowed her list of schools down to two – Nebraska and Texas. She spent most of her time letting other schools down and telling them she was looking elsewhere.
Flynn said she wasn’t planning to commit so early in the process but was feeling pressure from one of the schools she was talking with. So she spent the day focusing on herself and listening to her instincts. She used the alone time in her car driving to and from practice to imagine herself at both schools and where she might have more fun as a player.
“I wanted to trust my gut, and my gut told me Nebraska,” she said. “I love Texas so much, but ever since I was a little kid watching volleyball, I’ve always wanted to go to Nebraska. They have such a big volleyball atmosphere that I want to be a part of. It’s hard to say no to Nebraska.”
Flynn also talked on Thursday to Harper Murray, the No. 1 2023 prospect. The two played for the same Michigan club team, Legacy. She said Murray was a helpful sounding board and gave her unbiased advice.
Nebraska assistant coach Jaylen Reyes was at Flynn’s practice on Thursday. Even though they couldn’t talk face-to-face, she appreciated the effort it took to fly to Michigan on such a busy day.
Flynn told the coaches about her commitment Friday morning over Zoom. She said NU coach John Cook was nervous because she started the call by thanking them for everything they do. However, she quickly let them know she was giving them her verbal commitment.
The Huskers often recruit setters every other year, and Flynn becomes the third straight top-ranked setter to join NU. She follows in the footsteps of junior Kennedi Orr and freshman Bergen Reilly.
Even though she won’t join the program for a couple years, Flynn said she is excited to see all the big things happening at Nebraska, like playing a match in Memorial Stadium and hiring Jordan Larson as an assistant.
“It’s definitely a program I really want to be a part of because they keep doing the next big thing and making it exciting to watch volleyball,” she said.
Flynn both sets and plays opposite hitter for Mercy High School, which went 31-11 and won a district title. She averaged 3.2 kills on a .348 hitting percentage and 6.2 assists per set as a sophomore while earning Michigan Division 1 First Team honors.
She said she is aggressive at the net as a left-hander and tries to keep the defense guessing. Flynn said she spent a lot of time watching Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini and Illinois’ Jordyn Poulter and is excited to follow their path into the Big Ten. She’s also looking forward to working with NU assistant coach Kelly Hunter, another former All-American.
“Being in the Big Ten was definitely a pro for Nebraska,” she said. “Especially because I live in Michigan, and my parents can see me a lot. I’ve always grown up watching the Big Ten, and that’s mostly where I would want it to go.”
Flynn attended Nebraska’s summer camps in each of the last two years but isn’t sure she will make it to Lincoln this year. She was one of 19 players selected for the U19 national team, which will train together at the end of July. Twelve players from that group will be chosen to compete in the World Championships in Hungary in August. In addition, she is traveling to Orlando for AAU junior nationals, which start later this month.
She broke out a Nebraska shirt she purchased on her first camp trip for the photo shoot to make her announcement.
“I have three or four shirts, and I was going through all of them and seeing which one to pick,” she said.