On Friday night, Nebraska hosted its first Friday Night Lights Camp of 2019 in front of Husker fans on a warm and windy evening. While Nebraska’s second FNL Camp scheduled for June 21 is expected to have a few bigger names on campus, there were still players that jumped out during the first camp.
Here are my five thoughts on the event.
1. Nebraska hosted a pair of official visitors in running back Marvin Scott III and outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson, plus a priority unofficial visitor in wide receiver Xavier Watts. Scott was around fellow Floridian Braxton Clark all night long and looked to be having a very good time. Watts was constantly talking to the Nebraska staff, coaches and players. The relationships he builds within a school will be key for Watts and if Friday is any indication, the bond is strong with Nebraska.
2. It wasn’t hard to see why Gunnerson is near the top of Nebraska’s recruiting board at outside linebacker. First, Gunnerson is every bit of 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds. He moves well too, so you can see why Nebraska believes he can play outside linebacker in its 3-4 defense. The other thing that jumped out in between his dominant reps was just how eager he was to get extra reps and how much he hustled on the field. Sometimes the little things really stand out.
blaise gunnerson is pretty good at football things. #huskers pic.twitter.com/2S7DaZq9JM
— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) June 15, 2019
3. Don’t lose track of Lincoln Southeast senior-to-be Isaac Gifford. I’ve seen Gifford play for Southeast and participate in camps for a couple of years now and I was struck by how much bigger he continues to get. He doesn’t currently have an offer from the Huskers but had another good showing at the camp. Could a big senior season be the key to getting him an offer from Nebraska? Time will tell.
4. Watching Omaha Burke attempt to defend the state championship this season will be interesting. A big part of why you shouldn’t write off the Bulldogs is 2020 running back Jaylon Roussell. He’s been tearing it up on the camp circuit this summer, elevating his stock. He had another strong performance under the lights of Memorial Stadium Friday, showing off his change of direction and hands.
5. The Husker camps are also a great opportunity to see some of the current players and get a sneak peek at the gains being made. Derek Peterson and I both noted that the team just looks bigger overall and more like a Big Ten team. Even when you look at the newly arrived freshmen like Bryce Benhart, Mosai Newsom and Jackson Hannah, you immediately think they look the part. There is also something really fun seeing the guys help the campers by helping set up or giving little pointers here and there.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.