Nebraska strengthened its secondary with the signing of Noa Pola-Gates, who was regarded as one of the nation’s best safeties and top overall players in the 2019 recruiting class. Pola-Gates starred for Williams Field High School in Arizona, where he was selected for the 2019 Army All-American Bowl and the Polynesian Bowl.
As a senior in 2018, Pola-Gates helped the Black Hawks to an 11-2 record and a trip to the Arizona 5A semifinals. He recorded 57 tackles with one tackle for loss and had five interceptions and seven pass breakups on defense and had 743 all-purpose yards, including three receptions for 200 yards and three touchdowns and 15 carries for 139 yards. Pola-Gates also helped Williams Field to the state playoffs as a junior in 2017, when he was an honorable-mention all-state pick after registering 46 tackles, three pass breakups and three interceptions, returning those three picks for 145 yards. He had 199 rushing yards and three touchdowns on offense as a junior, while also catching nine passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns and totaling more than 800 all-purpose yards. Pola-Gates was a key member of the Black Hawks’ 14-0 state championship team in 2016, when he totaled 62 tackles, two interceptions and three breakups as a sophomore.
Pola-Gates was a consensus four-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of Arizona by 247 Sports and was regarded as the No. 9 safety and No. 114 overall player in the nation by Rivals. Pola-Gates had offers from several of the top programs, but chose Nebraska after also visiting Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Penn State. Pola-Gates is the second member of his family to sign with the Huskers this fall, as his cousin, Keana Pola, signed with the Nebraska softball program last month. He is also the nephew of former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.