On Sunday night, Nebraska added the 19th member of the 2018 recruiting class when 3-star cornerback Braxton Clark decided to join the class. The rangy corner fills a big position of need for the class and comes from a powerhouse program in Orlando. Here are my five thoughts on his commitment.
With the addition of Clark, Nebraska now has seven recruits that are Florida natives in the class. Being able to continue the strong work they were doing in Florida while at UCF will be key to the success of the staff at Nebraska. They have a group of strong recruiters in the state with outside linebackers/special teams coach Jovan Dewitt, tight ends coach Sean Beckton and defensive backs coach Sean Fisher. Based on the 2019 offers that have gone out, look for the Huskers to continue to have a strong presence in Florida
Cornerback is arguably the biggest position of need in the 2018 class for Nebraska. Clark is the only defensive back in the class that projects to play the corner position out wide since Deontai Williams projects as more of a nickel corner typer and CJ Smith is a safety. Having Clark in the class is huge. I suspect they will go hard after true corners in the 2019 class and try to coach up the players on campus currently.
Lots of Potential
There are schools that are known for identifying and developing certain position groups. Wisconsin with linebackers, Alabama with running backs and somewhere on that list is Virginia Tech with cornerbacks. Clark was at one time a commit to the Hokies. His frame (6-3, 180) had college scouts excited about his potential, now Nebraska will get the chance to help him realize that potential.
Status of Taiyon Palmer
Nebraska had identified rising 3-star cornerback Taiyon Palmer as a big target but since then he has seen his recruitment blow up after not signing with a school during the early signing period. Clemson, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Notre Dame are just some of the schools to offer him in the last couple weeks. Today, Palmer got a big one as Alabama offered him a scholarship. Either Nebraska doesn’t want to wait on Palmer to make a decision for fear of losing out on Clark, or Palmer has let the staff know he is no longer considering them.
What’s Left at Defensive Back?
Unless Palmer decides to join the class, Nebraska could be done at corner for this cycle. There are a few other names on the board including JUCO Kenneth George Jr who I believe would love to be in the class, but it remains to be seen if Nebraska wants to take him. At this point 4-star safety Cam Jones is still expected to select Nebraska when he announces on Jan. 27 but this week’s visitor list will tell you how confident Nebraska is in that. If other safety prospects are brought in, the confidence may be wavering there.